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Failure to declare money above $10,000 punishable, says CBN

By PETER EGWUATU

Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, weekend, cleared the wrong notion that any person travelling outside or coming into the country cannot carry above $10,000, saying it was a misinterpretation and misapplication of the provision of the Money Laundering (Prohibition ) Act 2011.

CBN, in a statement to all banks and other financial institutions, said that any person travelling or coming into the country can carry above $US 10,000, provided such amount was declared.

He said that only those who made false declarations or fail to make such declarations are to be prosecuted.

In a statement dated June 26, 2013, Acting Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the CBN, Mr. Y. Duniya, said: “Section 2(3) of the MLPA, 2011 (as amended) provides that transportation of cash or negotiable instruments in excess of US$10,000 or its equivalent by individuals in or out of the country shall be declared to the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS.

“Section 2(5) provides that any person who falsely declares or fails to make a declaration to the NCS pursuant to section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap. F34, LFN, 2004 is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to forfeit the undeclared funds or negotiable instrument or to imprisonment of not less than two (2) years or to both.

“The Act under reference further requires the NCS to forward such declarations made to both the CBN and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

“The import of the above provisions is that it is mandatory for only the holders of cash or negotiable instruments in excess of US$10,000 to declare such funds or their equivalent to the NCS.

“It is the false declaration or failure to make such declaration to the NCS that attracts prosecution and subsequent sanction of forfeiture of the undeclared funds or instruments upon conviction.

“To this end, the provisions in question do not imply in any manner that genuinely-owned or obtained funds or negotiable instruments in excess of US$10,000 or its equivalent cannot be brought into Nigeria or taken outside the country.”


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