James Emejo in Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday warned Nigerians in the Diaspora to desist from patronising illegal International Money Transfer Operators as “they stand the risk of losing their hard-earned money.”
According to the apex bank, the unscrupulous operators lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate and use Naira accounts opened in local banks for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries while channeling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market.
It added that such illegal practice is distortionary to the economy.
According to the CBN, “This practice has led to non-reporting of such transactions to relevant authorities thereby undermining effective surveillance of the sector as well as leading to discrepancies in statistics on the transactions between countries of origin of remittance and the destination country, Nigeria.”
The apex bank, in a statement signed by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor therefore advised Nigerians in the Diaspora not to patronise unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators.
It further urged banks to ensure painstaking conduct of ‘Know Your Customers’ Business’ (KYB) in order to prevent the use of accounts for illegal transactions and avoid regulatory sanctions.
It said when uncovered, such accounts would be blocked and the operators handed over to appropriate law enforcement agencies for prosecution.