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EU removes Nigeria from list of high-risk countries in money laundering

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April 8
10:47 AM 2019

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has vowed to take a tough action and begin man hunt on people facing crimes bordering on money laundering and terrorism financing.

The declaration was made in a statement released by NFIU through its acting chief media analyst, Ahmed Dikko, on Monday, March 25, Vanguard reports.

Legit.ng recalls that NFIU was separated from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in order to make it independent and effectively active.

The agency vowed to track down the politically exposed person and public office holders through a database capable of tracking their financial transaction.

NFIU said: "Significant measures to be implemented by the NFIU in the near future will include full implementation of the national sanctions regime to all detected areas of vulnerabilities within our systems. Other areas include issuing guidelines; advisories etc. that will affect cash transactions processes of local, state, federal governments and bureau de change etc.

"The Unit will also release new reporting requirements on suspicious transactions for terrorism prone areas and on suspects taken into custody in violent and flashpoint communities to check vices of terrorism, proliferation of small arms, kidnapping, ethnic violence, cattle rustlings etc. with the view to providing credible intelligence for law enforcement and national security.

"Efforts of the federal government to set up the beneficial ownership data base for politically exposed persons and public servants will be completed and expanded to capture additional necessary areas."

According to the agency, the new process includes new approach to analysing compliance in public account expenditures and it will almost shut down corruption as new transparency methods will come to governance.

"The main focus of the NFIU will be to fight all crimes through money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation of weapons real time analyses in the entire country," the agency added.

The agency as disclosed that the inclusion of Nigeria as one of the third war countries with deficiencies in money laundering and terrorism financing controls by European Union was saddening. It, however, adding that EU has withdrawn the image-damaging statement.

NFIU said: "We are also using this medium to respond to enquiries about the current position of the EU's recent listing of Nigeria as High Risk Third Country with deficiencies in money laundering and terrorism financing controls.

"The listing was officially withdrawn by the Council of Europe on 5th March 2019 while giving room for the European Commission and the European Parliament to align their positions. The Nigeria government engaged the E.U authorities through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the NFIU to reach an understanding."

It was reported in Nigeria news today that the European Union added Nigeria to a blacklist of nations seen as posing a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering.

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