Waziri advocates more global actions against Money Laundering

Source: pointblanknews.com

Farida Waziri
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mrs Farida Waziri has advocated for more global actions against the scourge of money laundering across the world.

She made the call weekend at a conference against money laundering and economic crime in London, United Kingdom. Waziri who presided over the three sessions of the conference explained in the paper she presented that the Nigerian government has continued to take steps to address the menace of money laundering through “ a comprehensive AML/FC regime that encapsulates legal framework, regulatory framework, institutional framework as well as domestic and international cooperation”

The EFCC boss whose paper centres on “Latest Approach To Focus, Enforcement and Regulation of AML/FC: The EFCC As a Case Study” argued that while the two fold approach, namely; preventive and detective/enforcement, adopted by the EFCC to fight the menace has yielded positive results, the crime is yet to be drastically reduced especially in the developing countries due to the double standard approach often adopted by the developed nations.

She said if not for this it will be practically impossible for leaders in developing countries to stash away looted trillions of dollars in foreign bank accounts which service the economies of the developed nations.

According to her “ I agree with the UN which says that around $148 billion is stolen from Africa by the political leaders, the business elite and civil servants with the collusion and connivance of banking industries in Europe and North America.”

“This tells us that both the developing economies who are the victims of this menace in terms of losing their resources through corrupt leaders and getting stigmatised as a result of negative publicity, as well as the developed economies which provide safe havens for these looted funds, have to do much more in term of waging a dispassionate war against the scourge of money laundering”, she added.

The EFCC boss disclosed that in the past two and a half years, she has introduced several preventive measures such as sustained public awareness campaigns through the Anti-Corruption Revolution, ANCOR; Budget Tracking; Transactions Clearing Platform, TCP; Foreign Remittance Monitoring; while the detection and enforcement approached has also been enhanced through relevant legal frame works such as the recent passage of the amended Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Acts; Sustained intelligence gathering on Politically Exposed Persons, PEPS; Prosecution of cases as well as conviction, recoveries and confiscation regime.

She said it was a combination of all these efforts that have led to the recovery of over $9 billion USD in less than three years; a conviction record of over 150; 1500 cases charged to court including over 60 high profile ones within the same period.

Waziri assured that the EFCC will continue to work with other stakeholders to stamp out the menace. She said between 2005 and October 2010 the Commission through the Financial Intelligence Unit, FIU received 5,063 Suspicious Transaction Reports, STRs and a total of 46,507,704 Currency Transaction Reports within the same period, adding that more of such reports are daily analysed by operatives to curb money laundering.

Other speakers at the conference praised the commitment of the EFCC to the war against graft in Nigeria and called for closer ties across the borders. Those who delivered papers at the conference include: Phillip Hacket QC of Argent Chambers, UK; Daren Allen of Berwin Leighton Praisner LLP; Zia Ullah, former Group Head of Sanctions and Policy at Barclays Bank; Emma Oettinger of Law Society England and Wales; Dr Gbenga Oduntan of University of Kent, UK; Chris Chukwu of CBN; Tonye Cole of Sahara Group; Yemi Johnson of Openspaces Compliance, UK among others.