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Banks becoming money laundering institutions, EFCC boss alleges

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[FILE PHOTO] Ibrahim Magu, Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission

The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has declared that banks were being turned into fraud and money laundering institutions in Nigeria.

The EFCC boss said some bankers give cover to fraudsters, corrupt politicians and foreign nationals to operate, adding that recent discovery by the Commission showed that some foreign nationals sponsor terrorism through banks in the country.

Magu stated this yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, during a meeting with officers of banks in the South-South Zone. He, however, affirmed that the Commission would surely stamp out the ugly menace from banks as machineries have been positioned in strategic places.

Magu said: “You cannot fight corruption in isolation; that is why we are having this meeting today with compliance officers of banks. We have to join hands, including the journalists, to succeed in this fight.

“A lot of laundering activities today are going on in the bank. This is because of what a lot of them do with Bureau De Change agents. We have discovered that many of these operators of Bureau De Change are foreign nationals.

“Banks give them chance and they launder our money and they finance terrorism. Banks also help politically exposed persons to steal funds. They give life to internet fraudsters through Money Gram and Western Union.

“Unfortunately, we now have fraudsters working inside the banks. They subject people’s account into intimidation and extortion. We want to put our machinery to deal with such bankers.”

He also disclosed that the Commission has within the first quarter of 2019 secured 194 convictions, stressing that it was committed to ending corruption in the nation.

The EFCC boss said: “From January 1 till today, we have secured 194 convictions. All our cases were at the High Courts. We have to follow the rigours of High Court. Most of the cases did not start this year but we concluded them this year.”

Magu also disclosed that the Commission would go after ex-governors and politicians who had been fingered in corruption acts, noting that the EFCC did not go after them during their tenure because of their constitutional immunity.

He also stated that the Commission’s involvement in this year’s polls would enthrone sanity and eradicate vote-buying, adding: “Yes, the 2019 polls was the first time EFCC got involved in election monitoring because we are determined to fight all round corruptions. I cannot disclose our achievements because we need not blow our trumpet by ourselves but I’m sure by our actions, vote buying and other political fraud will stop.”


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