The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced its investigation into suspected fraudsters who use real estate for money laundering.
Chris Mishela, a lawyer with the commission, disclosed this during a training for journalists on effective reporting of economic and financial crimes in Benin.
Mishela stated that the EFCC is focusing on real estate due to the number of estates being developed in Abuja and other parts of the country, which are suspected to be funded with illegal proceeds.
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He noted that the new anti-money laundering Act 2022 provides an opening for the government to look into the aspect of real estate, and that the EFCC is investigating the sources of these funds.
Mishela highlighted that real estate is one of the designated and non-designated professions that is under the EFCC’s obligation to do a full disclosure.
He clarified that the EFCC has not identified any specific entity to these proceeds of crime, but they are working to unravel what those areas are.
Mishela further outlined the roles and responsibilities that individuals and corporate organisations are expected to play under the new Act. He noted that it is now a crime to make cash or receive cash payment above N5 million.
The EFCC organised the training to make journalists aware of the expanded scope of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022, as against the repealed Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.
Mishela emphasised that the commission felt it necessary to bring individuals and corporate bodies, including the media, to know about the law.