Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has vowed to go after Chinese and India companies engaging in illegal mining in the country.
The anti-graft agency also said it has decided to go after foreign non-governmental organisations involved in the proliferation of weapons by ensuring that they are also deregistered.
NFIU Director, Mr. Modibbo Hamman-Tukur, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja during the 2019 Sub-regional conference on illicit financial flow and assets recovery with the theme: “Increasing Citizens’ Participation in Curbing the Illicit Flow and Repatriation of Stolen Funds within and from West Africa,” organised by the Human Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA).
He pointed out that that most of the India and Chinese companies have continued to disguise as construction companies, but said any firm indulged in illegal activity would be brought to justice.
Hamman-Tukur said: “This point, I want to look at overseas countries that are operating and doing a lot of criminal activities in this country. We have started compiling records of Chinese and Indian companies that are doing illegal mining. They are mining salt in some places, in some other places, they are mining lead and we have those records and we are working on them.
“Some of them take the guise by pretending they are construction companies. That is not the way to go. Very soon they will be brought to justice.”
Hamman-Tukur also revealed that the anti-graft agency has started reversing some of the transactions of the people arrested in the United States over internet scam.
According to him, ‘’As recent as Friday, we were still reversing some of the transactions of those few people arrested in the US, reversing the monies back to their main coffers.”
He explained that presently Nigeria has over 52,000 registered non-governmental organisations in its database, noting that any organisation that’s not qualified would be deregistered, and would not be allowed to operate again in the country.
The anti-graft boss said the agency had already held a meeting with the Corporate Affairs Commission, as part of a collaborative effort to deregister fake non-governmental organisations.
He added: “Non-governmental organisations that have been caught in terrorism financing investigation will also be removed from existence. Non-governmental organisations that are found to be involved in proliferation of weapons, intermittent and short rage weapons, even though such organisations are foreign-based, they will be deregistered.”
Earlier, HEDA Executive Director, Mr. Olarenwaju Suraju, challenged the Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the City Service in the United Kingdom to also expose those who steal money from Africa to foreign countries, the same way they identified Nigerians involved in internet frauds.
“We want to see them naming, shaming and possibly prosecuting those who are responsible for the movement of funds meant for development in West Africa and Africa as a whole to many of the developed countries, so that we can start developing our system and reducing the level of criminality both here and abroad,” he said.