Guard against money laundering in tourism, EFCC cautions operators

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has cautioned operators of tourism business in the South-east against non-compliance with anti-money laundering regulations for Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs).

A press statement by the EFCC Spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, in Abuja said the Enugu Zonal Head of the commission, Ibrahim Bappa, handed down the charge, Friday in Enugu, while addressing the executive of Society of Tourism Proprietors of Nigeria (STPN), Enugu State Chapter, who was at the commission’s office at the instance of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML).

“We have noted with dismay the non-compliant and indifferent attitude of some of you with regards to your obligations to stem the incidences of money laundering and terrorist financing in the South-east which has been the least compliant zone in this regard,” he said.

While warning the operators of dire consequences if such attitude persists among their members, Bappa noted that their compliance with the required protocols was not only necessary for the success of their businesses, but a patriotic duty that would preserve the country’s economy and image.

“We have to enlighten you so that you enlighten your members so that no one would say he does not know what is required of him or her and also for you to be on the same page with us,” he stated.

Also speaking the Head of SCUML in the zone, Tijani Kabo, expressed displeasure with the lackadaisical attitude of most operators of DNFIs in the South-east who would not register with SCUML and would not live up to their responsibilities as reporting entities.

“SCUML in the zone has gone into an enforcement mode, having consistently warned operators not only to register with us, but to comply with all the operating requirements like conducting proper Know Your Customer checks on clients and reporting of suspicious transactions, all of which, if not adhered to, attract a fine that ranges from N1 million to  N25 million,” he said.

In his remarks, the Chairman of STPN, Ogbu Amos, promised total compliance of members to the regulations guiding the operations of DNFIs in the country, adding that the executive would convey the commission’s observation to all concerned.

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