We’ve uncovered 96 Boko Haram sponsors – Lai Mohammed

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The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit has uncovered 96 financiers of terrorism, including 424 associates/supporters of the financiers.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, made this known during a briefing on the anti-corruption fight of President Buhari’s administration today.

The minister also said the fraud unit unmasked 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change linked with terrorism in the country.

Mohammed disclosed that the Federal Government uses the Money Laundering Act 2004, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Act 2004, the Department of State Services, DSS, and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit in fighting the financing of terrorism.

He also pointed out that the harmonisation of the Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) with National Identification Numbers (NIN) is a way of fighting the financing of terrorism in Nigeria.

“To check terrorism financing in Nigeria, the Federal Government has deployed a plethora of tools, including the Money Laundering Act, 2004, the EFCC Act, 2004, the ICPC Act, 2000, Department of State Services (DSS) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to deal with the issue of corruption, money laundering and terror financing.

“The ongoing harmonization of Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) with National Identification Numbers (NIN) is also a means of tracking the flow of funds within Nigeria and, by extension, tackling terror financing,” Mohammed said.

He said, “For its part, the analysis by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, involvement of about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change, in addition to identifying 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and 7 co-conspirators. The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets.

“Also, from its analysis of tax evasion and tax avoidance linked to corruption, NFIU has identified N3,909,707,678,112.43 in VAT and N3,737,918,335,785.82 in Withholding Tax due to the Government. NFIU has also sent 1,165 intelligence reports on cases of corruption, money laundering and other serious offences to 27 domestic agencies for investigation, prosecution and asset recovery.

“On terrorism financing, NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping and others with 19 countries. During the same period, 2020-2021, the organization returned fraudulently-obtained funds totalling US$103,722,102.83, 3,000 Pound Sterling; 7,695 Singapore Dollar and 1,091 Euros to 11 countries of victims who came into the country.”

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