Money Laundering: Coalition petitions EFCC, seeks investigation of bureau de change operator and bank

Posted by News Express | 20 December 2015 | 2,595 times

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The Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has sent a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), urging it to urgently investigate the bureau de change operator and the bank that said to be recently involved in a N310 million currency exchange transaction reportedly involving some security aides attached to Senate President Bukola Saraki.

The group said the petition was informed by a December 6, 2015 report by US-based online newspaper Sahara Reporters to the effect that agents of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) assigned to Dr. Saraki had stolen N310 million from funds an operator of a bureau de change operator was transporting to the Senate President. The Senate President has dismissed claims that he was the owner of the said sum of money stolen by the DSS officials.

In the petition signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the CSNAC said the matter is clearly a case of money laundering. The group wrote:

“The Bureau de Change operator had withdrawn over N310million cash for the said business transaction in gross contravention of established rules by the Central bank of Nigeria and Anti-Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011. Section 1 of the Act provides:

“No person or body corporate shall; except in a transaction through a financial institution, make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding-

1. #5,000,000 or its equivalent, in the case of an individual; or

2. #10,000,000 or its equivalent in the case of a body corporate.

“This transaction is a clear violation of the Act in reference and constitutes an offence within the powers of your Commission. What remains a mystery is why a bank will authorize the withdrawal of such a huge amount of money in defiance of the law on money laundering and laid down rules and procedures.”

Continuing, the petition said: “CSNAC is therefore by this petition, demanding that the Commission launches a full scale investigation into this incident. More importantly, to identify the operator of the Bureau de Change, as well as, the bank that allowed the withdrawal of the over N310million, to ensure their prosecutions under the Act.

“Your effective investigation and prosecution of this matter, will again send a strong message to would be perpetrators of such crime that Nigeria is no longer a safe haven for corrupt practices in its various forms.”

•Photo shows EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Magu.

Source: News Express

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