The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), has warned commercial banks in Nigeria to desist from aiding politicians in money laundering and other illicit financial transactions particularly in Edo State where governorship election is about to be conducted.
For the commission, both commercial banks and bureau de change operators would have to stay away from encouraging politicians who were fund of using their platforms as avenues for moving money during election.
The agency claimed that most frauds that were been committed by criminals often recieved assistance from bankers who were expected to have respect for rules and regulations that guides banking system and financial transactions.
The Acting Executive Chairman, EFCC, Benin, Umar Muhammad, indicated that the commission needs coorperation of bankers to assist in eliminating financial corrupt practices common among politicians.
Speaking during the meeting with bank officials on Wednesday, in Benin City, Muhammed, who was represented by the agency’s Zonal Head, Muktar Bello, enjoined bankers to adhere to the rules of Know Your Customer (KYC), as they have a role to play in the fight against corruption and economic and financial crimes to ensure peace and safty.
The acting chairman charged bank officers to adhere strictly with banking operation rules, shun forces in line of duty and as well report any transaction that fails the simple rules of integrity.
Muhammed assured that his office would go after any bank that compromise money laundering act just as he advised financial institutions to be careful in pursuit of business to avoid being used by desperate politicians.
According to him, bankers are always indicted whenever financial crimes are being committed and bank officials should be more vigilants and endavour to report any form of illicit transactions that would implicate the financial institution for election purposes.
“Bankers should be at alert so as not to allow politicians use banks for illicit transactions before, during and after the elections”
“Sometimes bankers are culpable because they do not always carry out due diligence and comprehensive Know Your Customers, KYC. KYC should be a continuous process”. he said.