Aregbesola Charges Security Agencies to Take Measures for Effective Response to Anti-Money Laundering, Counter-Financing of Terrorism
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has charged security agencies on the need to take necessary measures in order to reduce and possibly see an end to the menace of money laundering and combating of terrorism financing in the country.
The minister said this while delivering a key note address and declaring open a 3-day Capacity Building Workshop in Abuja which was contained in a press statement by Director Press, Ministry of Interior, Blessing Lere-Adams on Tuesday.
The workshop is being coordinated by the Ministry of Interior for three Services under its supervision; which are, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS); Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and the Nigeria Correctional Service (NCoS) in conjunction with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).
Aregbesola, during his address noted that “money laundering and the fight against violent crime are now a global problem, as a result of the confluence of several remarkable changes in the world markets, the growth in international trade, the expansion of the global financial system, the lowering of barriers to international travel and the surge in internationally organized crimes.
“He noted that all these combined, has provided the immediate source, opportunity and means for converting illegal proceeds into what appears to be legitimate funds known as Money Laundering and Violent Crime that can have devastating effects on the soundness of financial institutions and undermine the political stability of democratic Nation.”
Aregbesola explained that the workshop was organised for the development and enhancement of collective capabilities of security agencies to effectively tackle money laundering, terrorism and financial crimes in the country.
He said “criminals used various techniques and mechanisms to obscure the ownership of illegally acquired assets and introducing illegally obtained funds into the stream of legitimate commerce allowing criminals to profit from their illegal activities which tints the financial system and create public distrust in the integrity of the system.”
The Minister stated that the “funds are also used to undermine economic, social and political stability through funding terrorism and terrorist related activities such as terrorism, kidnapping and banditry with other serious crime across borders which has continued to proliferate, therefore Law Enforcement Agencies and Regulators must work together to prevent, identify, punish and deter financial crimes for a stable economy and better country.”
In her welcome address, the Director Legal, Mrs. Beatrice Jedy Agba, mni, who represented the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, described money laundering and financial crime “as a devastating monster that has destroyed the economy and political stability of many nations” and lauded the Minister Aregbesola, for organising the workshop.
While delivering his goodwill message, the Acting Comptroller General of the NIS, CG Idris Isa Jere, asked for more technological equipment which would help improve the capacity of the Services to improve on their mandate.
The Controller General of the NCoS, CG Haliru Na’Baba on the other hand, said the seminar will help them to fight terrorism and increase the country’s economy.
The Commandant General of the NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi, in his goodwill message said that the technology developed by NFIU which is Crime Reporting and Investigation Management System (CRIMS) “is an electronic means of transmitting Intelligence to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit and getting feedback through the same medium, is already in use and it’s very effective and successful in reporting financial crimes.”
Those attending the 3-day capacity building workshop to improve their skill in detecting illicit financial crimes and reducing its occurrence to the barest minimum include Staff of the Ministry of Interior, Officers from the Nigeria Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps and the Nigeria Correctional Service.