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Business News of Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Source: www.mynigeria.com

Fight against money laundering - ECOWAS urges CAC, others

ECOWAS Commission, Abuja office ECOWAS Commission, Abuja office

The ECOWAS Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundry has urged the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)to fight against money laundering in the country.

Dr Timothy Melaye, ECOWAS Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundry Representative said that law enforcement agencies should call for full disclosure of beneficial ownership of properties.

He made this known on Monday, during an interactive session organised by the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing Terrorism Civil Society Organisations Forum in Lagos.

“In terms of beneficial ownership, it is important that the identities of those who own companies are known so that crime can be dealt with.

“The issue of independent, autonomous money launderers can be identified so that we can take the wealth from those who cannot explain the source of that wealth.

“While legal aspects can come forth, everyone should be able to provide evidence for his source of wealth. Now, with the autonomous money laundering laws, and the unexplained wealth order of the United Kingdom, you can be arrested when you have not committed anything if you cannot explain your source of income.”

Melaye further said, “We have had the Panama papers and now the Pandora papers. Each person would receive a list of people in their countries, the law enforcement should engage them and find out the authenticity of those lists and if there is anyone who has broken any law, the person should pay for it.”

“Illicit financial flow is the movement of funds from one jurisdiction to the other, funds that are not legitimately moving.

“It hurts the country where the money is leaving to the country where the money is going. For instance, the money that would have been used to finance projects and infrastructure, if stolen from the government, would have negative infrastructure.

“The countries that receive that money, also because they are not money for investments but to hide the money from proceeds of crime, it distorts their macroeconomic indicators.”