She made the call on February 5, 2013 at the EFCC Academy, Karu, Abuja while declaring open a one-day training programme on Anti- money Laundering / Combating Financing of Terrorism for the civil society.
She listed the adverse effects of money laundering to include reputational damage, loss of foreign direct investment and distortions of economic indices but noted that government had taken steps to check the menace with the enactment of the Money laundering (prohibition) Act 2011 and implementation of various AML/CFT initiatives in the country.
Nworgu however regretted that the last evaluation of the Financial Action Task Force ( FATF) on Nigeria identified a weak link between the DNFI’s ( Designated Non-Financial Institutions) and NGOs ( Non Governmental Organizations ) in the Anti- money Laundering and combating financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.
“This of course does not speak well for our country, our economy, the DNFI’s including you and indeed the regulators and law enforcement agencies because the FATF assessment of the country and sectors within the country is a major reference point for foreign investors and international business prospectors,” she stressed’.
Nworgu added that the effective implementation of AML/ CFT regime in the country requires concerted effort of all stakeholders both in the public and private sectors.
The Head SCUML who said NGOs needed to be informed of their responsibility under the AML/CFT regime warned that failure to adhere to these would attract strict sanctions.
Also speaking at the workshop, Mrs. Hadiza Gamawa who represented the Acting Director, Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), Mrs. Juliet Ibekaku took the participants through the techniques for fight terrorism financing and said most NGOs are considered vulnerable as funds often come in from people with unknown sources of income.
Gamawa noted the challenge of identifying terrorist financing fund but expressed optimism that with training and retraining from the regulators, people can identify the red flags in suspicious transactions.
The training was a joint initiative of SCUML and the NFIU
…As EFCC Arraigns Two Fraudsters for N70. 85m Scam
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 arraigned two fraudsters, Olumide Sangobiyi and Oxygen Business and Solutions Limited before Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo of the Lagos High Court on a nine count charge bordering on conspiracy to obtain money by false pretence, forgery and issuance of dishonoured cheques.
Sangobiyi allegedly duped two companies: Boulos Enterprises Limited and RT Briscoe Plc by reneging on some transactions involving him and the two companies. In the case of Boulos Enterprise Limited, he was contacted to transfer the sum of $ 242, 810.00(Two hundred and Forty Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ten United States Dollars) into a particular account in Singapore for and on behalf of the firm while the company paid him the naira equivalent which was N38, 364, 011.00(Thirty Eight Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Four Thousand, Eleven Naira).
Sangobiyi reneged on his part of the bargain after the firm transferred the money into his dollar account.
In respect of R.T. Briscoe, the sum of N78,750,000.00( Seventy Eight Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand naira only) was paid through Sangobiyi’s company, Pearls International Limited, in exchange for the transfer of $500,000.00 ( Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). He transferred only $200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) into R.T.Briscoe’s dollar account and another N14, 400,000.00 (Fourteen Million, Four Hundred Thousand Naira) to R.T.Briscoe, leaving a balance of N32, 850,000.00 (Thirty Two Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) unpaid.
All efforts to make Sangobiyi pay the two firms proved abortive. All cheques he issued to the companies for the payment of the money were dishonoured.
Defence counsel, Oluyemi Soyoye, drew the attention of the court to a bench warrant issued on Sangobiyi before allowing him to take his plea. He said that since the defendant had come to court for his arraignment, the warrant should be withdrawn. Justice Onigbanjo subsequently withdrew the warrant and Sangobiyi pleaded not guilty to the nine count charge.
EFCC counsel, Francis Usani, urged the court to give a trial date and pleaded that the defendant be remanded in prison custody. However, Soyoye sued for bail for his client saying that all the offences for which he was docked were bailable. He also prayed the court to offer him a conditional release owing to some alleged health challenges. He told the court that he had a surety in court, Mr Christopher Oriola who was ready to stand in for him. Usani challenged the defence counsel to offer medical proofs of the surety’s health conditions and frowned against the physical attendance of a surety in court when bail had not been granted. He said the defence counsel was only trying to pre-empt the decision of the court in granting bail.
Justice Onigbanjo, in his ruling, granted Sangobiyi conditional bail. He ordered the surety to report fortnightly to the EFCC and report finally to the court on March 6, 2013 when all the bail applications will be resolved.
He adjourned the case till March 27 and 28, 2013 for continuation of trial.
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