cENtrAl Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday ordered deposit money banks (DMBs) to freeze accounts of companies “masking” as individuals to collect illicit foreign exchange flow. The apex bank in a circular signed by its acting director on trade and exchange department, W.D. Gotring, said all illicit money transfer through the banking system must stop. The circular reads in part, “Further to the guidelines for the operation of International Money Transfer Service (IMTS) in Nigeria referenced TED/ FEM/FPC/GEN/01/016 of September 26, 2014, we have observed that some deposit money banks (DMBs) are operating accounts either as companies or companies masking to be individuals for the purpose of illegally receiving money transfer flows into those accounts for onward disbursements to recipients in Nigeria. “The CBN therefore reiterates that the DMBs have the absolute responsibility to conduct Know Your Customers Business (KYCB) checks on all their customers to ensure that they do not transact in illegal/illicit flows. “Consequently, DMBs are hereby directed to identify and freeze accounts receiving illicit flows, to submit the mandate and account details of these accounts held in naira or foreign currency”. The CBN, as the regulator of the banking system, says it remains committed to ensuring a stable financial system in Nigeria.

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