Alleged N1.5bn fraud: Dariye violated Money Laundering Act – Witness

Ms Emem Kongkor, a prosecution witness in the trial of Nanle Dariye, on Tuesday, told Federal High Court, Abuja, that Dariye operated his hotel in violation of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011.

Nanle, the son of former Plateau Governor, Sen. Joshua Dariye, is accused by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on a six-count amended charge of money laundering in the sum of N1.5 billion.

He is charged alongside his hotel, Apartment le Paradis, which is the second defendant in the matter.

Kongkor told the court that Dariye violated the act by not registering the hotel with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUMOL) of EFCC.

The witness had, on Monday told the court that the hotel fell under the category of Designated Non-Financial Institution (DNFI), and that it was mandatory under the act to register it with SCUMOL.

The witness, an operative of EFCC, further told the court that the investigation, which her team commenced following intelligence report,  revealed that Dariye was a director in the hotel.

At the resumed trial on Tuesday, Kongkor told the court that a letter to the defendants from SCUMOL to ensure compliance with the act was returned un-received, thus prompting the court action.

The witness who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr George Adebola, also said that further investigation revealed that the hotel was not registered with SCUMOL as required by law.

She said that bank statements of the hotel got from its bankers revealed financial transactions running into millions, which were not reported in line with Section 10 of the act.

According to her, the act mandates DNFI to report any financial transactions exceeding N5 million or its equivalent for individuals and N10 million or its equivalent for corporate bodies to EFCC within 30 days of the transaction.

“The bank statement revealed several translations which exceeded that threshold unreported; one was N551 million, another N125 million and several others in that range,” she said.

The trial Judge, Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu, adjourned the matter until June 13 for continuation of trial.

EFCC had alleged that Dariye, sometime in 2013 failed to report a cash transaction to the tune of N1.5 billion which he received through the hotel’s bank account.

According to the anti-graft agency, the offence contravenes Section 5(1) (a) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 5 (b) of the same act. (NAN)

No tags for this post.