SENATE PASSES MONEY LAUNDERING PROHIBITION BILL
Abuja - The Senate has passed the Money Laundering Prohibition Bill 2011, which replaces the previous act of 2004.
The bill seeks to punish those who participate in organised criminal group and racketeering terrorism, terrorist financing and trafficking in human beings as well as migrant smuggling.
Others are tax evasion, sexual exploitation and illicit arms trafficking, bribery and corruption, counterfeiting currency, counterfeiting and piracy of products, environmental crimes, murder and grievous bodily injury.
The bill prescribes that offenders are likely to pay fines ranging from N1 million for individuals and corporate bodies to one year and 25 years' imprisonment for the individual or corporate entity.
The Senate in consideration of the committee's report before the passage of the bill, however, expunged the clause that seeks to empower security agencies to tap into the telephone of any suspect or place such suspect under surveillance.
The Senate however, retained the clause that gives security agencies power to obtain access to any suspected computer system.
Senate President David Mark said that the bill would strengthen the financial system of the country as well as afford all relevant agencies the powers to adequately deal with offenders