Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has charged operators of the Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DFNIs), in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to be wary of criminal elements, who are infiltrating their ranks with intent to launder slush funds.
Magu stated this while speaking at the oepning ceremony of a two-day sensitisation programme, organised Special Control Against Money Laundering (SCUML), in collaboration with the British Council.
Magu, who was represented by the Director of SCUML, Mr. Francis Usani, said that the loose supervision of DFNIs has left the sector open to fraudulent opportunistic businessmen, who are desperate to launder ill- gotten funds.
According to him, “Money laundering and terrorism-financing remaining a problem in both developing and developed economies of the world.
“The dynamics of this twin evil continue to evolve just as criminals discover new methods of exploiting the vulnerabilities in our institutions and legal systems.
“As a result of the lack of adequate supervision and Regulation of the DFNIs, criminals have now turned their focus on them to perpetrate money laundering, terrorist financing, as well as carry out most of their nefarious criminal activities.”
The EFCC boss further noted that it has become imperative for regulatory bodies like the EFCC and SCUML to take deliberate and decisive action to stop criminals from abusing the DNFi Sector.
He charged operators of the various DFNIs at the workshop to be conscious of their obligations and responsibilities under the Nigerian AML/ CFT, and develop a culture of compliance with AML/ CFT measures.
In his remark, the Programme Manager of the European Union (EU), Mr. Emmanuel Uche, observed the need for participants at the workshop to be ready to change the narrative in the fight against money laundering.
Uche stated that the EU was interested in justice reform, gender equality and the reform of anti-money laundering measures across the world.
He urged the participants to be more committed to the fight against money laundering and terrorist-financing, stating that their commitments could make a difference in their environments.
“We must change the narrative. Let’s not walk away from this workshop without clear commitments. Countries don’t drive themselves, individuals do. Let us take this as a golden opportunity to make a difference”, he said.
The workshop was well-attended by operators of DFNIs in Port Harcourt.