The companies are yet to comply with the Money Laundering Act 2011 for DNFIs
Officials of seven Designated Non- Financial Institutions, DNFIs, in Abuja have been arrested by the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The SCUML on Thursday arrested the officials for failing to comply with the provisions of the Money Laundering Act 2011 for DNFIs.
Those arrested include Ndubisi Akabogu an accountant with the Grand Product Company Limited, owners of Grand Square; Austin Olefa, Manager, Pent House Properties; Abdullahi Mohammed , Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Motors; Mathew Abang and Eguakum Ekenema, Manager and General Manager respectively, Jorany Hotels; Juvita Akwari, and Obinna Ugoma, Manager and Accountant respectively of Lamonde Hotels; Wole Oladapo and Osayi Gavin, Accountant and Marketer respectively of Febsons Hotels; and Abiodun Adelasu of Nawa Properties.
They were arrested at the start of a special operation designed to compel compliance with the anti-money laundering and combating financing of terrorism regulations, by DNFIs.
Section 5 of the Money Laundering Act 2011, requires existing businesses to submit within three months from the commencement of the Act, a declaration of their activities and all record of transactions. They are equally required to file returns on transaction within seven days from the date of the transaction in chronological order, indicating each customers surname, forenames and address.
The Central Bank of Nigeria, a few weeks ago, also came up with a circular directing financial institutions to demand evidence of registration with SCUML as condition for doing business with DNFIs.
The head of SCUML, Angel Nworgu, said the arrest of the company executives marks a turning point in the enforcement of the anti-money laundering laws, adding that the days of impunity and non compliance by such companies are over. She promised that more arrests would be made as the exercise continues.
She said investigations into the activities of the companies affected in the raid are ongoing.