Nigeria has banned the importation of automobiles across its land borders as it increases its fight against trade-based financial crime.
But while this measure should be effective in reducing levels of smuggling, the authorities are concerned that they lack the resources to effectively counter more sophisticated trade-based money laundering techniques.
Imports of vehicles through land borders have been banned, although importers can still bring automobiles into Nigeria overland during a grace period that ends 31 December 2016.
The restriction on automobile imports follows a similar ban issued in April 2016 on rice imports via land borders.
But officials say they find it harder to clampdown on more sophisticated customs evasion techniques, notably misinvoicing.
According to the president of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Lucky Amiwero, misinvoicing is typically difficult for developing countries to detect.
Levels of sophistication
“Often times misinvoicing can be performed effectively by making very small augmentations to the prices of common goods,” he told local media.
“If a firm augments the value of its goods by only one or two dollars per unit, even the best customs officers would be unlikely to notice it,” he added.
More sophisticated misinvoicing schemes, for example when money launderers involve anonymous shell companies in tax havens to further disguise their activities, allow even larger sums of money to be laundered Amiwero concluded.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News