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Nigeria's anti-graft body to go after money laundering bank chiefs

Nigeria's anti-graft body to go after money laundering bank chiefs

Nigeria

Chairman of Nigeria’s anti-graft outfit, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has disclosed that the EFCC would be clamping down on bank chiefs who are believed to be involved in money laundering activities under the guise of private banking.

Ibrahim Magu is quoted by Vanguard Nigeria as stating that the EFCC had already had discussions with the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) who are regulators of the banking sector pointing out that ‘private’ banking wad illegal and had to be stopped.

“We had a discussion with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and I insisted that this so-called private banking should be stopped. It is illegal. It is wrong. We are not only going after the personnel of the banks but also after the banks,’‘ he said.

It takes two to tango. In fact, very soon you will see us going after the Managing Directors of the banks. We don’t care what happens because the right thing has to be done.

He lamented how banks only dismiss personnel involved in fraudulent banking activities noting that the EFCC was now going to pursue the banks as corporate entities and the people they use to perpetrate these financial crimes.

‘‘It takes two to tango. In fact, very soon you will see us going after the Managing Directors of the banks. We don’t care what happens because the right thing has to be done. These people have given a lot of room for the money laundering activities to thrive. They were used to hide all the stolen money,” he said

The last time bankers in Nigeria were given a hard time was under the regime of the former governor (then Sanusi Lamido Sanusi) the current Emir of Kano, under whose tenure Managing Directors of Banks were put before court for fraud.

Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II also dismissed a number of bank boards under his stewardship which is acclaimed to be one of the most robust periods in Nigeria’s banking history in recent times.

Unfortunately he was removed from office by the then president Goodluck Jonathan following the leakage of a letter he (Sanusi) had written to the president but was leaked into the public domain, alleging that some $20 million of oil funds had not been remitted by the state owned Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

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