EFCC, banks seek collaboration toward financial crimes

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Lagos – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has pledged to deepen its collaboration with the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers (CCO) of commercial banks to eliminate financial scam.

The collaboration was the fallout of a recent meeting between the two bodies in Lagos at which they stressed the need for mutual trust and respect in sanitising the nation’s financial sector.

The EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, said that banks were not targets of investigations, but the criminals who use bank platforms to commit crime or launder proceeds of crime.

“Unfortunately, some banks, perhaps as a result of nascent pressure to post profits, shelter criminal elements to the detriment of the law,” he said.

According to Lamorde, Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) remain a partnership between law enforcement and regulators on one side and reporting entities on the other side.

The EFCC chairman also urged banks to support law enforcement agents, adding that there was need to further expose law enforcement officers to the dynamics of AML/CFT.

“It is not expected that the bank should play the role of a law enforcement officer, but at the same time, the bank must discharge all the AML/CFT reporting obligations required by law.

“Once a bank does that, it has done everything required of it by law.

“Build capacity within your staff and appreciate that the collateral damage of non- compliance will make nonsense of any profit,” Lamorde said.

Earlier, the Chairman of the committee, Mr Pattison Boleigha, who is also the CCO of Access Bank, said that the committee was established in June 2007 with to ensure that banks operated on the same platform.

Boleigha also commended the proactive character of Lamorde and expressed determination to co-operate with the AML/CFT compliance, and promised to support the war against financial crimes in the county. (NAN)

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