EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde
By Ike Abonyi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Tuesday continued its swoop on the violators of the Money Laundering Act with the arrest of the Managing Director of NICON Properties, Mr. Yahaya Atai Odoma, and the accountant of the company, Mr. Rufai S. Bidu.
Others arrested as part of the ongoing effort to enforce compliance with anti-money laundering laws by Designated Fon- Financial Institutions (DNFIs) were two persons.
A statement by the commission’s spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said the others arrested during yesterday’s special operation were Mr. Obee Williams Abu and Mr. Enger Peter of Hotel de Lamitel, Kadu Kuchi district, Abuja .
Section 5 of the Money Laundering Act 2011 requires existing DNFIs to submit to the Ministry of Commerce, within three months from the commencement of the Act, a declaration of their activities and all record of transactions in chronological order, indicating each customer’s surname, forenames and address. Section five sub-section two further states that “The Ministry shall forward the information received pursuant to subsection 1 of the section to the commission within seven days of its receipt.
The DFNIs include dealers in jewelleries, cars, and luxury goods, chartered accountants, audit firms, tax consultants, clearing and settlement companies, legal practitioners, hotels, casinos, supermarkets, or such other businesses as the Federal Ministry of Commerce or appropriate regulatory authorities may from time to time designate.
The EFCC had on October 4, 2012, arrested officials of seven companies for non- compliance.
The company includes Pent House Properties; Jorany Hotels, Wuse 2 Abuja; Febsons Hotels Nigeria Limited, Wuse zone 4, Abuja; Nawa Properties, AMAC Plaza, Wuse Zone 3, Abuja; Grand Product Company Limited, (Grand Square); Abmed Hotels Limited and Lamonde Hotels.
The Head SCUML, Angela Nworgu says more arrests will be made as the enforcement exercise continues.