Nuhu Ribadu Photo: Herald

The pioneer chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu, has accused banks and their workers of aiding several money laundering frauds that happen in Nigeria.

Ribadu made the assertion in his keynote address at a book launch in Abuja on “Improving Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Self-protecting Theory and Money Laundering Reporting Officers”. The book is authored by Abdullahi Bello of the Abdulbel Consulting.

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He noted that the banking system is vulnerable to abuse by corrupt elements.

“Our banking system is prone to abuse by corrupt elements. As investigations reveal every now and then, almost no case of corruption occurs without the involvement of banks and bankers,” he said.

The former anti-graft agency chief also stated that the dearth of development is not because the country is lacking in laws and regulations, but because Nigeria is lacking in issues with compliance and enforcement.

He said: “We have them in abundance. Even the EFCC Act, for example, amply tackles these issues, we also have the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, the CBN AML/CFT Regulation, 2009 (as amended), among others.

“As is often said, Nigeria is not lacking in laws but the issue is with the compliance and enforcement. It is the same with AML issues. Despite the best efforts of the anticorruption agencies, some audacious and unpatriotic elements still find room to abuse the system, despite the possible consequence.”

He advised banks to identify the risk of money laundering in relation to products, services and customers and assess such risks at every stage, adding that such risks should also be managed whether high, medium or low- risk profiling through reporting, due diligence and monitoring.

Ribadu urged the board and management of banks to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and regulators both in word of mouth, letter and spirit.