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

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.

ABOUT US

SCUML was established by the Federal Government in September 2005 in compliance with the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004 which was subsequently repealed and amended to Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011(as amended).

SCUML was created as part of measures for the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations on Anti- Money Laundering /Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) in Nigeria.

The FATF requires Countries to implement 40 Recommendations which are
considered as international standard for combating money laundering and terrorist financing as well as the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

The recommendations include amongst others the establishment of Legal and Institutional framework for the effective implementation of the AML/CFT measures in all Countries. This led to the enactment of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and the Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011, (as amended) in Nigeria.

SCUML was created under the Money Laundering (Prohibition), Act, 2011 (as amended) to implement specific sections of the Act in line with the FATF recommendations for the implementation of AML/CFT measures within the Designated Non- Financial Institutions (DNFIs) Sector in Nigeria.

SCUML is statutorily under the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment but operationally domiciled within the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as the Commission drives the operational activities of the Unit in line with Sections 6(C) and 7(2) of the EFCC Establishment Act, 2004.

FUNCTIONS OF SCUML

SCUML performs the following key functions to actualise its mandate:

  1. Registration and certification of DNFIs in Nigeria.
  2. Sensitization of DNFIs in Nigeria on their compliance obligations, under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and the implementation guidelines.
  3. Monitoring and supervision of the activities of DNFIs as it relates to AML/CFT.
  4. Conducting off-site, on- site, and spot checks inspection of DNFIs.
  5. Taking necessary enforcement actions to ensure compliance with the AML/CFT Laws and Regulations.
  6. Collection of statutory reports: Cash based transaction reports (CBTRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) for onward forwarding to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
  7. Establishment and maintenance of comprehensive database of DNFIs and their financial transactions to support tactical, operational and strategic analysis as well as policy options in combating ML/FT.
  8. Strategic analysis using available data to identify emerging trends and patterns in money laundering and terrorist financing.
  9. Provision of vital information relating to DNFIs money trails to assist criminal investigations by Law Enforcement Agencies in order to boost the fight against economic and financial crimes within the DNFIs sector in Nigeria.
  10. Collaboration with stakeholders to ensure compliance with AML/CFT measures within the DNFI sector in Nigeria.

MANDATE OF SCUML

SCUML has the mandate to monitor, supervise and regulate the activities of DNFIs in Nigeria in consonance with the Nigeria’s AML/CFT regime. The DNFIs as defined under section 25 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) are:

  • Dealers in Jewellery
  • Car dealers
  • Dealers in luxury goods
  • Audit firms
  • Tax consultants
  • Clearing and settlement companies
  • Supermarkets
  • Casinos, Pool Betting and lottery businesses
  • Law firms, notaries, and other independent legal practitioners
  • Accountants and Accounting Firms
  • Trust and Company Service Providers
  • Estate Surveyors and Valuers
  • Dealers in precious stones and metals
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs, NPOs, FBOs, CSOs)
  • Importers and dealers in cars or any other automobiles
  • Construction companies
  • Consultants and consulting companies
  • Hospitality Industry
  • Real estate agents, Estate developers, Estate Agents and Brokers
  • Mortgage Brokers
  • Dealers in mechanized farming equipments and machineries
  • Practitioners of mechanized farming.