• Saturday, March 02, 2024
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Banks compliance officers, key to curbing financial crimes – EFCC

Ali Bello vs EFCC: Court adjourns hearing to February 5 and 6 for continuation hearing

Michael Nzekwe, the Zonal Commander of the Ilorin Zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has identified the role of banks compliance officers as key to the fight against economic and financial crimes.

He however, urged them to be diligent and avoid being complicit in fraudulent financial practices in the banking sector.

According to a statement by the anti-graft agency, Nzekwe made the call during an interactive session with compliance officers of banks held at the Commission’s Office located at No.10 Oko Close, Off Station Road, GRA, Ilorin recently.

The meeting, which drew participants from Kwara and Kogi States, was aimed at building stronger relationship between the staff of this critical unit of banks and the Commission in the fight against corruption.

“We invited you here today to nourish our existing relationship, educate ourselves on the new trends in cybercrime and seek areas of further collaboration as stakeholders in the fight against economic and financial crimes in Nigeria,” Nzekwe said.

He charged the bankers to adhere strictly to bank rules, regulations and be diligent in the discharge of their duties.

On the issue of “Know Your Customer” (KYC) and “Know Your Customer’s Business” (KYCB) the Zonal Commander tasked the bankers to take the two requirements seriously as it would help to keep fraudulent customers on the radar.

“We advise that as bankers, you carry out due diligence and know your customers KYC. By doing this, you save yourselves from trouble and make our job easier.

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“There is no major fraud especially money laundering that is ever committed without the connivance of bank officials,” he added.

The Zonal Commander also reiterated the need for bankers and EFCC operatives to be on the same page as new trends in cybercrimes continue to unfold, even as he charged the bankers to share necessary information and report suspicious transactions to the Commission.

He appreciated their presence at the meeting and expressed hope that the engagement would birth a more cordial working relationship between the banks and the EFCC.

Participants stressed the need for regular meetings in order to build a more stronger tie between the banks and the EFCC that would engender compliance culture in the Nigerian financial sector.

According to them, the spate of fraud perpetrated through financial institutions ranging from cybercrimes, money laundering and other financial crimes has led to an unprecedented focus on the depth and effectiveness of compliance and regulation.

While urging the EFCC to be unrelenting, the participants assured the Commission of their support by offering necessary information that could assist its fight against economic and financial crimes, especially illicit transactions in the banking sector.