EFCC plans commitment to fight against money laundering 

EFCC plans commitment to fight against money laundering 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, has reaffirmed its commitment to tackling money laundering and terrorism financing in the real estate sector.

Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Commission’s Executive Chairman, disclosed this at a workshop organized by the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, in Abuja.

The Nigeria Evaluation Report, according to Bawa, demonstrates that the real estate industry is the country’s second most vulnerable to money laundering techniques.

He pointed out that cities such as Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, and Lagos are among the major cities where properties are regularly purchased in cash and often in foreign currencies, with no one questioning the legitimacy of such transactions.

Bawa, speaking through his Chief of Staff, Hadiza Gamawa Zubairu, stated that the EFCC would leave no stone unturned in tackling money laundering practices in the sector, based on the realities of the real world.

“In July of last year, the EFCC developed “The Eagle Eye,” an app that has simplified the reporting of economic and financial crimes while also exposing the movement of illicit funds in the real estate sector. This has definitely offered important information and will continue to do so.

She reaffirmed the EFCC’s willingness to work with key stakeholders in countering the threat, while also bolstering the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering’s (SCUML) capabilities to properly carry out its responsibilities in ensuring compliance in the Real Estate industry.

Weak rules, a lack of strict business procedures by regulatory organizations, and poor compliance with legislation, among other things, are being leveraged to launder monies in the real sector, according to the EFCC chairman.

NFIU Director Modibbo Hamman Tukur also urged for collaboration and coordination across agencies, both locally and regionally, in the fight against money laundering and illicit financial flows.

EFCC

To make it simpler to track criminals, he advocated tougher legislative requirements, including the need that every person in GIABA member nations be assigned an uniform identity number.

Yunusa Shuaibu, Secretary of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), urged for tighter regulation and coordination in the real estate sector, stating that “the sector is currently free for all.”

“We are always willing to work together to achieve this goal, which is why we chose to propose a bill in the National Assembly.” he stated

Dr. Bruno Nduka, GIABA’s Director of Evaluation and Compliance, commended Bawa in particular for taking an active interest in the association’s work and offering invaluable help.

He stated that the real estate market is booming.

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