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Money Laundering: SCUML Raids Hotels, Real Estate Firm

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, April 24, (THEWILL) – The Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML on Tuesday April 23, 2013 arrested officials of a real estate firm and two hotels in Abuja for non-compliance with extant regulations mandating Designated Non- Financial Institutions, DNFIs to register with the Unit in line with the anti-money laundering laws.

Those arrested in a special operation conducted in conjunction with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC are Isemede Mac-Henry, General Manager/Accountant, First Group Real Estate Company; Fadipe Emmanuel Abiodun, Managing Director, Alexis Hotel and Ekanem Ibok Essien, Managing Director, Rittman Suites.

Aside from enforcing compliance with regulations, Angela Nworgu, Head SCUML said the intelligence-driven raid is aimed at uncovering the beneficial ownership of entities that could be used to launder money within and outside Nigeria.

First Group Real Estate Company which has foreign ownership has been involved in the marketing, promotion and sale of off-shore real estate primarily in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Nworgu called on DNFIs to continue to abide by extant regulations to avoid the wrath of the law.

Section 5 of the Money Laundering Act 2011 require existing DNFIs to submit to the ministry of commerce, within three months from the commencement of the Act, a declaration of their activities and all record of transactions in chronological order, indicating each customer’s surname, forenames and address.

DFNIs include dealers in jewelleries, cars, supermarkets and luxury goods, chartered accountants, audit firms, tax consultants, clearing and settlement companies, legal practitioners, hotels, casinos, or such other businesses as the Federal Ministry of Commerce or appropriate regulatory authorities may from time to time designate.