The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said bank operators found culpable in concealing money laundering and financing of terrorism will be barred from working in any financial institution, apart from paying a fine of 2 million naira (about US$13,000).
The private Guardian newspaper Tuesday quoted a circular from the CBN as saying the action is in line with the newly-amended Money Laundering [Prohibition] Act 2011 and Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011.
In the circular to banks and other financial institutions, the apex bank listed transactions which must be reported to it or to the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) or to both institutions.
“Failure of any officer to follow his/her institution’s internal procedure will be considered a serious misconduct which will attract termination of appointment in line with section 48(4)(5) &(6) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), Cap. B3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004, and offender blacklisted from employment in the financial services industry,” the circular said.
“In addition, the defaulting institutions will be made to bear the financial loss suffered by any victim of a financial crime. However, the amount of penalties for infraction still remains at a maximum limit of N2 million per infraction,’’ the apex bank further declared in the circular.
Also, financial institutions are required to report in writing any single transaction, lodgement or transfer of funds in excess of five million naira to ten million naira or their equivalent made by an individual and corporate body respectively to the NFIU.
In compliance with the Terrorism (Prevention) Act (TPA), 2011, financial institutions are also required to, within a period of not more than 72 hours, forward the reports of suspicious transactions relating to the NFIU.
These include fund derived from illegal or legal sources but are intended to be used for any act of terrorism; or proceeds of a crime related to terrorism financing; or proceeds belonging to a person, entity or organisation as terrorist.