Decentralise Nigerian money laundering investigations to cut out corrupt officials says ACFE

The Lagos Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) is calling on the Nigerian federal government to consider decentralising investigations of money laundering and other related crimes to more effectively curb illicit financial flows (IFFs).

President of the Lagos Chapter of the international association, Godwin Oyedokun, said in a lecture during an ACFE training session that centralised investigations can be flawed by influence or abuse by corrupt officials involved in probes.

AML/CFT rules enforcement

Oyedokun said Nigeria’s anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) rules are now in place to prevent financial institutions from being used for money laundering, particularly through the identification of sources of funds and limitations on certain transactions that serve as vehicles for money laundering.

But he is concerned that investigations into breaches of AML/CFT regulations are being jeopardised by corrupt officials who are close to these investigations, thus suggesting that enforcement of these rules is not sufficiently rigorous.

National and African challenges

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari recently told an audience at the 74th UN General Assembly that his country lost US$157.5 billion dollars to IFFs between 2003 and 2012. Some analysts suggest that IFFs have remained at a level similar to 2012.

In the face of the ravaging effects of the coronavirus crisis, the UN has said curbing capital flight and illicit financial flows in Africa could generate new funds of up to US$88.6 billion a year to respond to the pandemic.

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