Nigerian NGO Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) has published a three part report on policies, laws and practices in the UK and the UAE as well as domestically in relation to the roles of financial and non-financial institutions in the facilitation of illicit financial flows (IFFs).
The lengthy report, which appears substantially based on conclusions drawn from existing research, contemplates trade-based money laundering (TBML), notably as employed by multinationals and commodity traders, and is critical of banking operations and practices in all three countries.
Better bank training
The report describes the emirate of Dubai as a preferred destination for TBML from Nigeria and discusses the role the UAE’s many free trade zones play in TBML activities. It is critical of the emirates’ banks.
“UAE banks need better training to fully understand TBML – and customs-related risks. They need to know more about the products traded and shipping routes, and they need access to other detailed records that cover the commerce side of transactions,” the report says.
It concludes that these issues need to be looked at specifically in relation to imports from Nigeria including gold and other precious stones.
The report also contemplates how other commodity rich African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo also route gold through to the UAE for refining in the course of TBML operations.
British multinationals in Nigeria are accused of complicity in bribery and participation in TBML operations in the report, which is particularly critical of oil companies with Nigerian operations.
“Grievous damage has been occasioned on the Nigerian state and its economy by multinationals through…TBML and other IFF[s]” says the report, which calls on the UK to “press for changes in its multinationals operating in Nigeria.”
“If Nigerian banks and other financial institution perform their functions with due diligence much of IFF damage to Nigeria would have been avoided,” concludes the report.
It says “enablers working within the financial sector often opt to ignore pertinent legislation, rules, standards and ethics making it easier for money launderers to escape detection and sanctions.”
HEDA’s report on IFFs from Nigeria to the UK and UAE, Fixing Illicit Financial Flows: A Critical Review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices in Financial and Non-Financial Institutions can be downloaded from these links:
A newscast by TV360 Nigeria discussing HEDA’s report on IFFs from Nigeria to the UK and UAE, Fixing Illicit Financial Flows: A Critical Review of UK and UAE Policies, Laws and Practices in Financial and Non-Financial Institutions can be found here.
Categories: Trade Based Financial crimes News