ABCON, NDLEA Move against Money Laundering

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Obinna Chima

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have pledged to collaborate against money laundering and drug trafficking in the country.

The two bodies made the pledge when officials of the NDLEA paid a courtesy visit to the National Secretariat of ABCON.
During the meeting, areas of mutual interest in the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering were discussed.

Speaking during the visit, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe said that the association would work with the NDLEA to organise sensitisation workshops for BDCs on the connection between drug traficking and money laundering.

According to the ABCON boss, part of the role of his association is to ensure compliance, adding that a major challenge his members face is “vulnerability.”

“That is why we keep on training our members on issues like customer identification as required under Know-Your -Customer principle. We consider it important that we know our customers.

“One the reasons why BDCs are vulnerable, is because the proceeds of drugs is huge, drug business is in billions of dollars and we deal in dollars, hence we are very vulnerable.

“The perpetrators who have this proceed can run into our offices and that is why our members really need to provide information that will help the NDLEA trace the perpetrators,” a statement quoted Gwadabe to have said.

“Though we have training programmes with the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and Economic and Financial Crimes (EFCC) on these issues, we would also partner with NDLEA to organise training, we would request for resource persons from the agencies to participate in our periodic training for BDCs”, he said.

Gwadabe noted that empowering BDCs against activities of drug traffickers and money launderers, is imperative given the critical role of the sub-sector in the economy.

On his part, the leader of the NDLEA delegation, Assistant Director, Musa Maina, said though BDCs are under the regulation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), their activities have a bearing on the job of the NDLEA, adding that is the rationale for the visit.

He said that the agency will work with ABCON to educate BDCs on certain obligations which have bearing on the war against drug trafficking and money laundering. He said one of these obligations is record keeping.

He said drug traffickers in their efforts to launder the proceeds of their crimes operates in cash, and they usually avoid businesses that keep meticulous records and documents of transactions, while preferring businesses that deals in cash and does not keep record of transactions.