‘We may start to prosecute BDCs, banks for complicity’

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said due to the current anti-corruption war, looters have stopped keeping money in banks and have resorted to storing cash in their abandoned property.
Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu,‎ said this at a workshop titled, ‘The ‘Role of Professionals in the Fight Against Corruption’ in Abuja, at the weekend.
“People are now scared of keeping monies in banks, as it can be traced easily. Monies are now kept in abandoned houses in the country.”
He also charged bureau-de-change operators and financial institutions to desist from being used as conduit pipes to launder money.
According to him,” BDCs move billions of naira in a day and there is no proper documentation of money being laundered. I appeal to BDCs to stop that, as we will begin to prosecute operators to serve as a deterrent. Bankers are also involved in corrupt acts, as they don’t carry out due diligence.’’
Magu urged professional bodies in the country to join hands with the anti-graft agency in the fight against corruption and economic crimes.
“Instead of conniving with people to launder the proceeds of corruption, I beg you to join hands with the EFCC to fight this menace. Many professionals celebrate criminality by doing a ‎lot to foster corruption, which adds more to money laundering. I don’t intend to criticise the work of professionals, but to solicit their support in order to make Nigeria better for the younger generation.’’
The EFCC boss revealed that the commission ‎would soon go after accounting firms that collaborate with bankers to steal government’s funds.
Meanwhile, Justice Fatun Riman of the Federal High Court, Kano, has granted EFCC’s application to try a former Skye Bank staff, Yagana Bukar, in absentia on 10 charges bordering on money laundering.
Bukar was first arraigned in October 2013 and was granted bail.
The accused person, however, absconded shortly after the commencement of trial.
Prosecuting counsel, M. S. Abubakar, had applied to ‎the court, pursuant to Section 352(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, to continue with the trial despite the absence of the defendant.
Abubakar told the court that the defendant failed to appear during eight consecutive adjournments without any explanation.
The trial judge then granted the application of the prosecution and directed the first prosecution witness, Barnabas Okakwu, a staff of Skye Bank, to continue his evidence-in-chief.
Further hearing in the case has been adjourned to June 27.

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