ASSOCIATION of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) and the Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have pledged to collaborate to enhance anti money laundering measures in the bureaux de change (BDC) industry.
This follows a courtesy visit by NDLEA officials to the National Secretariat of ABCON, during which areas of mutual interest in the fight against drug trafficking and money laundering were discussed.
Speaking during the visit, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said that the Association will work with NDLEA to organise sensitisation workshops for BDCs on the connection between drug traficking and money laundering.
He stated: “Part of our role is ensuring compliance and one of our challenges is the vulnerability of BDCs, that is why we keep on training our members on issues like customer identification as required under ‘Know Your Customer’ principle. We consider it important that we know our customers. One the reasons why BDCs are vulnerable is because the proceeds of drugs is huge, drug business is in billions of dollars and we deal in dollars, hence we are very vulnerable.
“The perpetrators who have this proceed can run into our offices and that is why our members really need to provide information that will help the Agency to trace the perpetrators. So we would partner with the NDLEA to train our members on those things they need to watch out for to identify suspicious transactions.”
The leader of the NDLEA delegation, Mr. Nicholas Ajadurumye, said that though BDCs are under the regulation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), their activities have a bearing on the job of the NDLEA, adding that is the rationale for the visit.
He said that the Agency will work with ABCON to educate BDCs on certain obligations which have bearing on the war against drug trafficking and money laundering. He said one of these obligations is record keeping.