FATF to screen banks, BDC over money laundering Money

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The global body that sets standard for anti money laundering (AML/CFT) efforts, the Financial Action Task Force team, will assess banks and other financial institutions’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of terrorism measures.

The team also plans to carry out checks at the branches of selected banks and Bureau De Change offices across the country.

In a statement, the bureaux de change operators under the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, disclosed that it was preparing for the annual evaluation of the team that would be visiting the country soon.

In the statement, it said the compliance at the airports and land borders might also be scrutinised.

Aminu Gwadabe, the president Association of Bureau De Change of Nigeria, said the BDC operators were getting ready to receive the FATF team.

He said the visit became necessary after the FATF team in February named Nigeria in a proposed European Union blacklist of nations, seen as posing a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering.

The criteria used to blacklist countries included low sanctions against money laundering and terrorism financing, insufficient cooperation with the EU on thematter and lack of transparency over the beneficial owners of companies andtrusts.

Gwadabe said the visit by the FATF team would enable it see new efforts by the country to tackle money laundering and terrorist financing.

He stated that Nigeria had largely addressed its action plan by enacting legislation to adequately criminalise money laundering and terrorist financing, implementing procedures to identify and freeze terrorist assets, and ensuring that customer due diligence requirements apply to all financial instructions.

He said Nigeria had been one of the regional champions mentoring other member states in the development of their AML/CFT systems, adding that the full digitisation of Nigeria BDC operations was aboost for financial system stability and Nigeria’s standing on the regular FATF assessment for Nigeria.

He said that ABCON, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria was organising a sensitisation workshop for over 4,500 licensed BDC operators in the country.

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