90% of money laundering is through real estate— EFCC

…Recovers over N6 billion in 6 months

Urges World leaders to rise against graft

By Soni Daniel

Nigeria spent over N6 trillion in combat terrorism between 2008 and now, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abrulrasheed Bawa, has revealed.

In the same vein, the EFCC boss said that the country lost over N5.4 trillion to tax evasion by corporate entities between 2011 and this year.

But between March when he took office as EFCC boss and now, the anti-graft agency has recovered over N6 billion from financial and economic saboteurs.

This is aside the theft of resources in the nation’s oil and gas sector, according to the official.

Bawa made the disclosure on Friday  while presenting a paper entitled, “Combating of Crime, Corruption and implication for Development and Security”, at the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, organized by the Center for International Documentation on Organized and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge,, United Kingdom.

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According to the EFCC boss who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Sambo Mayana, economic and financial crimes including corruption, which manifest in various forms in different nations, are at the core of global development and security challenges. Citing a report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development OECD, he noted that, “Resources that could support a country’s development are lost through criminal acts like corruption, tax evasion, money laundering, and others.

“The “spoiler” effects on countries’ development processes are diverse, and particularly severe for fragile states: economic crime, including illicit financial flows, diverts much needed resources needed to rebuild countries’ public services, from security and justice to basic social services such as health and education”.

The EFCC chair however noted that all hope was not lost as the country, under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has demonstrated commitment and political will in dealing with the issue of economic crimes through a number of legislative and institutional reforms.

According to him, records show that as at August 2021, the EFCC had recorded well over 3408 convictions.

“From the time I took over as the Executive Chairman, on the 5th of March 2021, we have recovered over N6 billion, over $161 million, over £13,000, €1,730, 200 Canadian dollars, CFA 373,000, ¥8,430 and 30 Real Estates. We have arrested over 1500 internet fraudsters, many of whom are being prosecuted,” he added.

Bawa called on leaders across the world to rise to the challenge of fighting corruption to enhance global economic development and security.

The EFCC chair said the absence of substantial improvement in the living condition of the people in Africa and other developing countries despite their natural resources endowment was due to pervasive economic crimes taking place in those countries.

“The incidence of illegal mining, smuggling of goods, tax evasion, illegal oil bunkering, illegal arms deals just to mention but a few does not allow the government to receive the full accruals  from the continent’s vast resources that are needed for development. The revenue generated are embezzled by government officials and their collaborators in the private sector. This does not allow for economic growth and by extension a hindrance to development,” he said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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