By Davies Iheamnachor
THE Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has lamented that banks are allegedly being converted into fraud and money laundering institutions in the nation.
Magu, who spoke in Port Harcourt, Rivers State yesterday during a meeting with Compliance Officers of Banks in the South-South Zone, noted that the commission had beamed its searchlight to stamp out the menace from banks.
The EFCC boss lamented that some bankers gave cover for fraudsters, corrupt politicians and foreign nationals to operate, adding that EFCC has also found out that some foreign nationals through banks sponsor terrorism in the country.
He said: “You cannot fight corruption in isolation, that is why we are having this meeting today with Compliance officers of banks. We have to join hands including the journalists to succeed in this fight.
“A lot of laundering activities today are going on in the bank. This is because a lot of them connive with Bureau De Change agents. We have discovered that many of these operators of Bureau De Change are foreign nationals. Banks give them chance and they launder our money and they finance terrorism. Banks also help politically exposed persons to steal funds.
They give life to internet fraudsters through Money Gram and Western Union.
“Unfortunately, we now have fraudsters working inside the banks. They subject people’s account into intimidation and extortion. We want to put our mercenary to deal with such bankers.”
He also disclosed that the commission within the first quarter of 2019 has secured 194 convictions, stressing that it was committed to ending corruption in the nation.
He said: “From January 1st, till today we have secured 194 convictions. All our cases were at the High Courts. We have to follow the rigours of High Court. Most of the cases did not start this year but we concluded them this year.”