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Banks risk punishment for fraudulent deposits

31 January 2014, 14:00Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned it would punish banks that allowed fraudulent deposits.

The commission said that is becoming worrisome that some banks, in their drive to increase deposits, were now shedding criminals and fraudsters who deposit money into their bank.

Speaking at a meeting with the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Lagos, EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, noted that though fraud reporting systems in banks had improved markedly, some banks still allowed red flagged transaction.

Lamorde warned that such banks will henceforth be prosecuted alongside the fraudsters. “It must be understood by banks that the primary target for the law enforcement officer is not the bank but the criminal who uses the platform of the bank to either commit a crime or to launder the proceeds.

Henceforth we will prosecute both the bank and the criminal if we discover their fraudulent act,” he said. Lamorde further noted that it was regrettable that some banks or their staff saw themselves first and foremost as “partners of their customer and not partners of the law.”

Banks, he said, should see themselves as partners of the EFCC, the Nigerian Financial Investigating Unit (NFIU) and all other regulators and law enforcement agencies.

“Banks need to note that while Know Your Customer (KYC) to a banker means 'know your customer to the Law enforcement office, it means Know Your Criminal, which perhaps remains the foundation of friction between both sides,” he said.

He added that though it was not expected that banks should “play the role of the law enforcement officer”, that they should discharge all the fraud reporting obligations required by law.

– CAJ News


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