Terror Financing: EFCC Moves to Probe NGOs over 40 Bank Accounts

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Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

In a renewed bid to track the movement of laundered funds in the banking system used to finance terrorism, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday declared that it would commence an investigation into the financial dealings of some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating in the North-east.

A military source had recently raised posers about the upfront payment of hotel accommodation for upwards of 10 years by some NGOs operating in Borno State, making it difficult for travellers to secure accommodation in Maiduguri, the state capital.

The source had also questioned the genuine desire on the part of the organisations to see the end of the insurgency.

Speaking at a meeting with banks’ compliance officers in Maiduguri, Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, queried the rationale behind a single NGO keeping 40 bank accounts.

He warned that banks should comply with Money Laundering Act by reporting to the anti-graft agency, any person or persons moving cash above the allowed threshold.

“Nobody should carry cash above the threshold of above N10 million for corporate organisations and N5 million for individuals; anything above the threshold must be routed through financial institutions,” he said.

Magu said EFCC would soon commence the profiling of NGOs with a view to monitoring their financial activities.

He said: “We must profile all the NGOs in the North-east. I don’t know why an NGO will open more than 40 bank accounts.

“We are going to ask your various banks to give us statements of accounts for each and every NGO.

“The issue of money laundering, terrorist financing and leakage of information will be eliminated by the commission with the help of bankers across the country.”

While answering question from a bank official, according to an EFCC statement, Magu said, “aside from terrorist financing, the commission is trailing the activities of ‘yahoo -yahoo boys’ on how victims were defrauded in the hands of those fraudsters by using latest technology.

“The commission through the Nigerian Communications Commission is working assiduously to stop the menace”