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REPORT SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTIONS, NAICOM URGES INSURERS

By NBF News
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BY ROSEMARY ONUOHA
The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM, has charged insurers to always report suspicious transactions to the Commission in line with the Anti Money Laundering/Combating Financial Terrorism, AML/CFT directive.

The Commission described suspicious transaction to be premium payment above N1 million for individuals and N5 million for corporate organisations.

Assistant Director (Inspectorate), Head AML/CFT Unit of NAICOM, Mr. Sam Onyeka, who gave the charge, said that insurers should always look at the possibility of fraud and take precaution because the world environment has become so bad that underwriters must do something to protect themselves.

Onyeka who said that insurers must do it for their business to survive noted that the Commission have information that people transfer funds from abroad through brokers, agents who use such funds to buy security.

He said 'If a broker said you can't have access to their clients and some documents then send suspicious transaction report to the Commission.'

Onyeka said that brokers don't file suspicious report to NAICOM only insurers do, so the insurers must make sure that brokers collaborate with them stating, 'The way to protect yourself is to send alert because there could be problem someday.'

Onyeka said that any insurer that is not ready to abide by the directive should close shop stating 'For so long in Nigeria we have left what we are supposed to do. We cannot continue to wait. We have to leap frog so that we can do other things.'

Onyeka added that policyholder identification otherwise called 'Know Your Customer (Policyholder) requirement is probably the most important requirement and underpins all anti-money laundering procedures and that companies are required to obtain satisfactory evidence of identity of all proposers while the evidence must be satisfactory from both objective and subjective standpoints.

He said 'Where it appears that the applicant is acting for another person, it is required that the company should take reasonable measures to establish the identity of the principal. Companies should take reasonable steps to find out the identity of their client, and they are able to establish that the client is who he claims to be only when there is sufficient evidence of his identity.'