NSCDC establishes data base on money laundry, terrorism finance, others, trains investigators

NSCDC Commandant Dr. Ahmed Audi

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) said it has established a central data base for storing and sharing of intelligence on Money Laundering, Terrorism Finance and Proliferation Financing, among others.

Speaking Wednesday in Abuja at the opening ceremony of a 2-day training workshop on Anti Money Laundering, Terrorism and Proliferation Financing for NSCDC Investigators and Prosecutors, Dr. Audi said the move will mark a paradigm shift in its investigation activities from focusing only on predicate offences of oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, illegal mining to trailing the proceeds of these crimes.

According to the NSCDC boss, the capacity development workshop is aimed at implementing part of the Mutual Evaluation Report recommended actions which would not only ensure Nigeria’s successful exit from the ICRG/GIABA’s Enhanced follow up process but pave way for the eventual membership of Nigeria into the Financial Action Taskforce (FATAF).

“This is a task that must be achieved. All hands must therefore be on deck to ensure that such dream is realised.

“The Crime of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing is an organised crime which may be nurtured by the proceeds of illegal oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism. Therefore, this training programme is an avenue for our investigator and prosecutor to broaden the horizon of their knowledge and expand the scope of their investigation activities to include tracking down movements of proceeds of these crimes by thorough profiling of the suspects and their financial dealings. This will assist in establishing whether funds realised from vandalism is laundered or used in financing terrorism.”

While appreciating the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, for approving the training, Audi said his organisation will do everything possible in getting rid of money laundering, terrorism financing and other financial crimes in Nigeria.

Speaking earlier, the head of of Anti-corruption and Transparency unit at the NSCDC headquarters, Commandant Remi Ekundayo, said Nigeria’s journey toward membership of Financial Action Taskforce (FATAF) started more than two years ago, adding that already, the country is a member of Inter-governmental Action Against Money Laundering (GIABA), FATAF West African regional body.

According to her, the NSCDC’s Commandant General has approved the establishment of a Central Data Base for storing and sharing of intelligence on Money Laundering (ML), Terrorism (TF) and Proliferation Financing (FP). The is one of the deficiencies identified in the Mutual Evaluation Report (MER).

“The journey is hecleun, tasking and full of huddles to cross, therefore, all relevant agencies of government, NSCDC not an exception, must work individually and collectively toward ensuring that this dream is realised.

“Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, with the support of the Ministry of Interior, the Commandant General and other partner agencies, has been working tirelessly not only to improve Nigeria’s rating in the next Mutual Evaluation Exercise but to ensure that the country successfully exit the FATAF/GIAB Enhanced Follow Up Process with the one year observation period in mind.

“To further address the deficiencies, the Commandant General has also set up a committee to draft Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the Corps to cover investigation, prosecution, transfer and record keeping of ML, TF & PF cases. The Committee has since finished it assignments and its report is expected to form part of our general SOP.

“As part of our commitment to this national project, the Commandant General has also approved the setting up of a full pledged Department called Financial Crimes Department with the independent mandates of handle all cases, including investigation, transfer or prosecution, of all ML, TF, PF and other sundry financial crimes. This is expected to be replicated in all our Zones, Commands and Formations.

“The training programme we are about to embark is aimed at equipping our investigators and prosecutors with the necessary skills, techniques and fresh ideas to effectively handle the cases earlier mentioned which are relatively new to us. In the past, our investigation activities were limited to only predicate offences bordering on oil bunkering, pipeline vandalism, illegal mining and other sundry crimes. However, through series of engagements with NFIU and other relevant stakeholders, we have spread our searchlight further to trailing the movements of proceeds of those crimes.”

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