The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, says Nigeria has been ranked 7th in the world in the transfer of illicit funds, and called for urgent action by African countries to confront the menace of illegal cash movement across borders as several traders crossing borders within the continent do not see movement of cash above the stipulated limit as a criminal offence.
Addressing a workshop on Anti-money Laundering and Combating Financing of Terrorism, organized by the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money-Laundering in West Africa, he said within 10 years, about N20.6 trillion was transferred illegally out of the country.
He added that the illicit outflows were mainly due to corruption, tax avoidance, tax evasion, illegal mining activities, drug and human trafficking.
Speaking at the workshop, the Director-General, Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, Dr Abdullahi Shehu said the workshop was a response to the serious concern expressed by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers on the indiscriminate movement of cash across borders within the region in spite of the availability of cross-border banking facilities.
Similarly, the Ambassador of Switzerland in Nigeria, Dr H.R. Hodel, said the Swiss government was committed to ensuring enforcement of money laundering law in all financial organisations so as to constrict terrorism and money laundering as well as focusing to note the root causes, regression measures and sustain the rule of law.
Dr Martin Uhomoibhi, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representing the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said money laundering activities and terrorism financing have assumed a new dimension despite the heat turned on them by known international regulatory institutions to check their activities.