Acting Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has described Designated Non-Financial Institutions as safe havens for money-laundering activities.
The commission’s spokesman, Tony Orilade, said in a statement in Abuja on Friday, that Magu stated this at a workshop to sensitise Non-Profit Organisations.
The workshop, organised by EFCC in collaboration with Space for Change, had “Effective Implementation and Regulations of AML/CFT within the NPO Sector” as theme.
Magu was represented by Director, Special Control against Money Laundering Unit of the commission, Francis Usani.
According to him, as a result of lack of adequate supervision and regulation of NPOs and by extension DNFIs, criminals have now turned their focus on the DNFIs sector to perpetrate money-laundering and terrorism financing.
He said that the vulnerability of DFNIs in developed and developing economies to the scourge of money laundering and terrorism financing had encouraged the perpetuation of the vice.
He said: “Money-laundering and terrorism-financing will continue to thrive, especially with criminals continuously discovering new methods of exploiting the vulnerability of DFNIs and the legal systems.
“The DNFIs have been identified as the most vulnerable sector in money-laundering and terrorism-financing because criminals no longer use the conventional financial systems like banks, to launder their ill-gotten wealth.”
The acting chairman urged non-profit organisations to be conscious of their obligations and responsibilities under the Nigerian AML/CFT regime and develop a culture of compliance with its measures.
Executive Director, Space for Change, Victoria Ohaeri, posited that non-profit organisations believed that compliance to money-laundering/terrorism-financing was important to their work, and “to the entire sector and for the betterment of the country”.
She said: “Civil Society Organisations are a major ally of the government in the fight against money-laundering and terrorism-financing.
“We are willing to cooperate, comply, engage and at the same time we are also concerned about the space which we operate, in ensuring that due compliance is done without adding additional burden in the work we do.”