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EFCC seeks arrest of complicit bank officials

31 January 2014, 09:03Augustine Osayande

Abuja - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned Chief Compliance Officers of banks they would be arrested in place of criminals if they did not report culprits that carried out suspicious transactions.

Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mallam Ibrahim Lamorde, gave the charge at a meeting of the Committee of Chief Compliance Officers of Banks in Nigeria.

He told the bankers that as Chief Compliance Officers, they were the bridge between the law enforcements, regulatory agencies and the various banks they represent.

“Compliance officers must not wait till the bank is invited by the EFCC before they make necessary information available to the Commission or any law enforcement agency, and they must be seen at all times to cooperate with law enforcement agencies,” Larmode said.

Lamorde also charged the compliance officers to check the rising incidents of bank officials tipping off customers under investigation by the Commission.

He said the primary target for the law enforcement officer was not the banks but the criminals who used the platform to commit crimes.

He assured the banks that law enforcement agencies were trying to help them make profit by ensuring that criminals did not use their platform to perpetrate crimes.

“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,” said Larmode.

He said the EFCC would continue to clamp down on criminals who preyed on the gullibility of the sector.

Larmode said the agency was prepared to forge a better working relationship with members of the Committee of Chief Compliance officers of Banks in Nigeria to improve their capacity and ensure compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.

– CAJ News


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