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Embassy denies closure of accounts

Washington, DC – The Nigerian Embassy in the U. S on Wednesday said  none of the nation’s missions in the U.S. has had its accounts frozen by any bank in the country.

This was contained in a statement by the Embassy and made available to the North America Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York.

It noted that its attention was drawn to some recent publications in the Internet press indicating that the accounts belonging to the embassy in Washington and  UN mission in New York  had been frozen by Wells Fargo and Bank of America on alleged charges of money laundering.

`These allegations are malicious and are designed to malign the integrity of the leadership of the Nigerian missions in the U.S.

“It is true that African Embassies have within the past one year been facing problems banking in the U.S.

`This arose as a result of the PATRIOT’S ACT by which stringent compliance regulations were imposed by the U. S. government to prevent possible money laundering that might be used to finance terrorist activities.

“The activities of Al-Shabab in Somalia make the issue of terrorism of particular concern to Africa,’’ the statement   said.

According to the Embassy,  compliance to the regulations involve a large amount of paper work and staff time.

It noted that many banks thought that the amount of staff time and energy spent in fulfilling the strict compliance regulations was not justified by the profit they make in keeping such accounts. (NAN)


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