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BDCs prepare for FATF evaluation visit to Nigeria

Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators, acting under the aegis of the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) are preparing for the annual mutual evaluation of their operations by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) team visiting Nigeria soon.

Speaking yesterday to reporters ahead of the visit, its President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said BDCs are getting ready to receive the FATF team. He said ABCON, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is organising a sensitisation workshop for over 4,500 licenced BDCs.

He said the workshop, which will hold in the six geopolitical zones, will take off in the next one week.

He added that the BDCs will be trained on the obligation of registering and filling reports on the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) goAML -Anti-Money Laundering portal.

Gwadabe said the anti-money laundering training is intended to familiarise BDC operators with the process of money laundering — the criminal business used to disguise the true origin and ownership of illegal cash — and the laws that make it a crime.

He said money laundering and terrorismfinancing pose  enormous threats and challenges to the economy, security, and social life  of the country, the region and the world.

Gwadabe said  the training was also  designed to help BDCs maintain minimum standard of record keeping and increasing level of investors confidence for the economy.

The training,  he said, will create awareness on the need to check money laundering and terrorism financing; ensure that BDCs are not used to launder funds by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). It will also upscale BDCs’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria Regulations.

Gwadabe said the visit became necessary after the FATF team in February, named Nigeria  in a proposed European Union blacklist of nations seen as posing a threat because of lax controls on terrorism financing and money laundering.

The criteria used to blacklist countries include low sanctions against money laundering and terrorism financing, insufficient cooperation with the EU on the matter and lack of transparency over the beneficial owners of companies and trusts.

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