EFCC, PAGMI Sensitize Artisanal Gold Miners and Dealers Against Money Laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative (PAGMI) on Tuesday August 3, 2021 reiterated the need for continuous education and enlightenment of artisanal gold miners and gold sellers in view of their susceptibility and vulnerability to being used to perpetrate acts of money laundering.

Mrs. Ibinabo Mary Amachree of the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML Abuja who represented the Director of SCUML, Daniel Isei, stated this in a keynote address at a one-day sensitization/ town hall meeting in Kaduna for artisanal gold miners and sellers.

According to her, the programme is expected to scrutinize and sanitize the operations of stakeholders in the gold mining and trading sector as they are vulnerable to activities of promoters of terrorists financing and persons involved in diversion of stolen public funds.

The representative of the Commissioner, Kaduna State Ministry of Environment, Caleb Solomon Guruza, described the theme for the event as apt in view of the current security and economic challenges in the country. He called on all stakeholders to effectively collaborate to curb the menace of money laundering which also fuels terrorism.

Highlights of the event is a lecture delivered by Mr. Matthew Enu on AML/CFT Measures/Vulnerabilities for Dealers in Precious Stones, Metal and Jewelries.

EFCC Charges International NGOs on Transparency, Accountability

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, September 8, 2021 charged the International and Local Non-Governmental Organizations to provide the anti-graft agency with the ‘‘lists of beneficiaries’’ of the funds provided for ‘Internally Displaced Persons’ as mandated by law to help in combating money laundering and terrorism financing in the Northeast.

The Director, Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, which is domiciled in the EFCC, Daniel Isei gave the charge at an interactive meeting with the Nigeria INGO Forum at the Grand Pinnacle Luxury Hotel, Maiduguri, Borno State.

The lists required from the INGOs and NGOs will enable the EFCC through the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) identify and verify the actual beneficiaries of the palliatives and cash provided by donors so that the funds will not get into the hands of wrong persons during disbursement.

‘‘Our engagement with the INGOs is to ensure and enforce compliance with the regulations and laws against money laundering and to combat financiers of terrorism activities and this can only be achievable through proper identification of the beneficiaries of the Aids flows provided by the INGOs,’’ Isei said.

He emphasized the need for transparency and accountability by INGOs in the discharge of their humanitarian duties.

The SCUML Director reiterated the importance of presenting ‘‘Cash Notification Forms’’ to the Maiduguri Command for vetting and approval before disbursing funds to ‘Internally Displaced Persons’ to reduce the risk of sabotage and bring financiers of terrorism to book.

He warned that adequate sanctions as provided by law will be meted to any erring INGO and NGO that refuse to conform to the laws and regulations.

The Deputy Coordinator of the Forum, Yasmine Chawaf commended the EFCC for its proactive approach towards combating money laundering and terrorism financing, especially efforts to ensure that monies declared and moved to the IDPs camps gets to the right people in the Northeast.

The Forum is absolutely confident of having a more robust collaboration under the new leadership of the EFCC to further enhance effective service delivery to humanity. Also, we assure the Commission of our maximum cooperation at all time’’, she said.
Present at the meeting were the Maiduguri Zonal Commander, Onwukwe C. Obiora and Mary Amachree Ibinabo, Assistant Director, SCUML

EFCC, SCUML AND PAGMI HOLD SENSITIZATION TOWN HALL MEETING FOR ARTISANAL AND SMALL SCALE GOLD MINERS AND TRADERS IN MINNA

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC and Special Control Unit against Money Laundering SCUML in conjunction with the Presidential Artisanal Gold Mining Development Initiative PAGMI, today 27th July 2021, held a one-day sensitization and town hall meeting for artisanal and small scale miners in Minna, the Niger State capital.

Addressing the miners at the event with the theme:“EFFECTIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING AND COMBATING THE FINANCING OF TERRORISM MEASURE IN THE DNFI SECTOR”, the Director of SCUML, Mr. Daniel Isei, who was represented by the Head Strategic Analysis, Mrs. Ibinabo Mary Amachre said the purpose of the workshop was to sensitize dealers in precious stones and metals of their AML/CFT obligations, create awareness, and build competence in their compliance abilities.

Stressing the reason for the sensitization programme, Daniel Isei noted that “criminals have now turned their focus on the dealers in precious stones and metals sector to perpetrate money laundering, terrorist financing, as well as carry out most of their nefarious criminal activities including kidnapping and banditry”.

According to the SCUML boss, “in recognition of this phenomenon, it becomes incumbent on us to take deliberate and decisive actions to stop criminals from abusing the dealers in the sector. We must therefore be conscious of our obligations and responsibilities under the Nigerian AML/CFT regime and develop a culture of compliance with AML/CFT measures”.

The Executive Secretary, PAGMI, Hajiya Fatima Umar Shinkafi who was represented by Dr. Martina Ananaba said the core mandate of PAGMI is to forge the formalization and integration of artisanal gold mining activities into Nigeria’s legal, economic and institutional framework. As stated by her, “PAGMI’s focus and purpose for this town hall meeting is three-pronged. The first is to sensitize the gold traders, dealers and miners in the gold supply chain on the existence, role and purpose of PAGMI and what it can offer to the gold trading society. The second is to demonstrate our collaboration with the EFCC and clarify how we would both be acting together in this landscape towards our joint objectives, and the third is to bring to your attention the relevant laws within the sector which cover both the PAGMI and EFCC operations. The knowledge of these laws will arm you in carrying out your business legally and without fear of any reprisals”.

Highlighting the advantage of the initiative, Hajiya Shinkafi said the collaboration between PAGMI and EFCC was necessary and timely for revenue development.

While appreciating the Commisssion and SCUML for this initiative, Abdulkarim Muhammed, Secretary of Gold Sellers Association of Minna Modern Market, Niger State and Hon. Uba Adamu, Public Relations Officer, Miners Association of Nigeria Niger State Chapter, expressed their delight in this collaboration, underscoring their association’s disapproval of using the sector to launder money or finance terrorism. They reassured their sector’s internal audit mechanism which enables them to fish out anyone associated with these crimes.

COURTESY VISIT TO SELF-REGULATORY ORGANIZATIONS (SROs) AND TRADE ASSOCIATIONS (TAs)

In the spirit of collaboration and cooperation, the Director of SCUML, Mr. Daniel Isei, having the mandate of the new Executive Chairman of the EFCC, paid courtesy visits to the Leadership of the DNFI SROs. The visits were aimed at seeking partnership and synergy in the fight against money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation financing amongst the DNFIs in Nigeria.

During the visits, the Director also used the opportunity to enlighten and sensitize the leadership of the SROs on the AML/CFT obligations, duties and liabilities of their members and need for collaboration.  

On their part, the Leadership of the SROs pledged their unalloyed supports for SCUML and by extension, the EFCC in its new drive in the fight against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing. They also reiterated their commitment to ensure that their members comply with the Nigeria AML/CFT laws and supplementary regulations.

The Director, in a company of some of his senior officers visited the SROs at their respective Corporate Headquarters, in Lagos and Abuja. The following SROs and TAs were:

  1. Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN)
  2. Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN)
  3. Association of Professional Bodies of Nigeria (APBN)
  4. Nigeria Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV)
  5. Association of National Accountants of Nigeria (ANAN)
  6. Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN)
  7. Lagos State Lottery Board
  8. Nigeria Network of NNGo
  9. Spaces for Change
  10. Association of Casinos Operators of Nigeria (ACON)
  11. Jewelry Marketers Association of Nigeria (JEMA)
  12. Precious Metal Gold Processors and Exporters Association of Nigeria (PMGPEAN)
  13. Nigeria Lottery Operators Forum (NLOF)
  14. Association of Motor Dealers of Nigeria

SCUML Gets NEW Boss

The new and current Director SCUML Daniel Isei joined the EFCC in 2004. In the course of his career he has worked in various departments in the Commission including NFIU, SCUML and more recently Zonal Head of operation EFCC Makurdi before his appointment as Director SCUML on the 22nd of March, 2021.

The Director who took over from Hanafi Baba-Ahmed the immediate past SCUML Director holds a Masters Degree in law (LLM) with specialization in Law Enforcement and Administration. He is also a Certified International Anti Corruption Specialist and a Fellow of Security Institute (FSI)

Group Lauds Anti-money Laundering Efforts of EFCC

Jewelry Marketers Association of Nigeria has lauded the anti-money laundering efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. Additionally, the group gave a thumb up to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), of the EFCC for its anti-money laundering sensitization efforts on Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs).

Speaking during a visit to the Head, SCUML, Hanafi Baba-Ahmed at the Wuse Zonal Office of the Commission, secretary general of the association, Muktar Mustapha Jega expressed happiness that their partnership with the EFCC has made it easier for the association members to effectively play their role in the fight against money laundering by reporting business transactions that do not follow due process as required by the law.

“In the past, when you are invited by the EFCC, people will think you stole something or committed a crime, but we now know that it is our responsibility to report our transactions to the Commission because they are our regulators,” Jega said. The Jewelry Marketers Association came alongside Association of Casino Operators of Nigeria.

In his response, Hannafi Baba-Ahmad, expressed happiness over the visit and noted that the sensitization being routinely carried out by SCUML on DNFIs was necessary in EFCC’s fight against the scourge of money laundering. He disclosed that the purpose of inviting the association and other DNFIs was towards a development of a joint anti-money laundering programme for 2020.

Other members of the delegation are Muhammad Aliyu, WaseelSafariyyah Global and Oni Mobolaji Johnson, Association of Casino Operators of Nigeria

SCUML, NGOs Partner To Tackle Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing

SCUML, NGOs Partner To Tackle Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing

The Director of Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), Bamanga Bello, has said that money laundering and terrorist financing can harm the national economy and security if not checked.

He said the issue of money laundering and terrorist financing should not concern only the government, law enforcement and regulatory authorities, adding that “the public sector, the private sector, the business community and even the ordinary citizen must play a role in combating it. Hence, there is need for a collaborative approach to overcome the menace.”

Speaking at a one-day workshop organised by the Nigerian Network of Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) in collaboration with the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, February 19, 2018 in Lagos, Bamanga said the supervisory activities of SCUML with respect to the implementation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Terrorist Financing, AML/ CFT, would protect and preserve the integrity of the sector.

He, however, said that the SCUML activities would not disrupt or inhibit Non-Profit Organisations, NPOs, from carrying out their legitimate functions.

“SCUML carries out its supervisory activities on the NPO sector in accordance with requirements of the FAFT Recommendation 8 and its interpretive notes, which emphasises that measures adopted to protect the NPOs sector from terrorists abuse should not disrupt or discourage legitimate activities,” he said.

The SCUML boss, who also stated that the November 2017 Global Terrorism Index described Nigeria as the third most terrorised country in the world, said it was imperative for NPOs in the country to be acquainted with the Nigeria AML/CFT measures in order “to prevent, detect and report, timely and accurately, terrorist financing activities.”

He also expressed the optimism that the knowledge gap would be substantially closed up and that there would be a paradigm shift where players in the NPO sector would appreciate and imbibe the AML/ CLF compliance culture to prevent money launderers and terrorist financiers from exploiting their organizations for money laundering and terrorist financing.

Bamanga further used the occasion to inform the participants that Nigeria was preparing for the next round of Mutual Evaluation Review, MER, which would be conducted by Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, and the Financial Action Task Force, FATF.

Also speaking, the Director, Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Francis Useni, said the workshop would not only help to educate the participating NPOs on their obligations and roles under the Nigerian AML/CFT regime, but also awake their consciousness to the nexus between poor awareness of AML/CFT issues and the low capacity of the sector to combat the scourge of money laundering and terrorist financing

Useni, who was represented by the Head, Strategic Analysis, Fehintola Salisu, also relayed the agency’s readiness “to support the achievement of an effective, comprehensive and balanced implementation of the Nigerian AML/CFT regime by providing the needed guidance through capacity-building, provision of up-to-date AML/CFT typologies and informed trends assessment studies.”

Earlier in his remark, the Head, Nigeria, Network of Non-Governmental Organisations, NNNGOs, Oyebisi B. Oluseyi, said the workshop was organised to sensitize NPOs on issues surrounding AML/CFT.

“More importantly, it is also to find ways of understanding what our plans and roles are and how to be able to ensure that we fit into all these, since there is already a law that guides operations of non-profit organisations around AML/ CFT issues.”

The theme of the workshop was “Effective Implementation of Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) requirements in the Non-Profit Organizations in Nigeria.”

Sensitisation Workshop for SRBs

SCUML organised a 2-day zonal sensitisation workshop for Self Regulatory Bodies (SRBs) in the Designated Non-Financial Business and Profession (DNFBP) Section on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (AML & CFT). This porgramme was funded by the European Union and held on 30th and 31st January 2019.

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