June 22, 2024

[GIST] NFIU raises concern over €36b total fraudulent petitions

[GIST] NFIU raises concern over €36b total fraudulent petitions

Guardian Nigeria News https://ift.tt/GJ3cTlj

The Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has expressed concern over suspected fraudulent petitions before the body involving individuals and entities to the tune of over €36 billion.

In an advisory on fraudulent petitions involving the tracing and recovery of electronic wire transfers from foreign banks into accounts in Nigeria banks, the NFIU stated that it observed that most of the funds were transferred from top financial institutions in Europe.
The NFIU accused some law firms of accepting briefs relating to tracing and recovery of huge sums of money wired via the SWIFT Network from entities and individuals (clients) and immediately swinging into action without due diligence in authentication and validation of documents received from such clients. 
 “Our findings suggest that deceptive fraudulent petitions involving the tracing and recovery of funds allegedly transferred from foreign banks to Nigerian banks are becoming a recurrent threat to not only the targeted victims but also financial institutions, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) and other government agencies.
“Financial institutions and the general public are advised to be vigilant and adopt recommendations that will help to further safeguard important documents from being easily accessible to prevent their use as a backup for such petitions,” the NFIU stated.

The body noted that it has never received requests from counterpart FIUs seeking information on international wire transfers in large sums conducted by foreign investors from other jurisdictions but held up in a Nigerian bank. It stated that most of the entities are briefcase companies, as they do not maintain operating business offices in the country. 
“This is probably due to the absence of known or existing business track record,” it said.  The NFIU noted that queries conducted on its database revealed that the involved persons/entities usually have no record of large transactions conducted in the past (i.e. transactions above N5, 000,000,00 and N10, 000,000.00 for individuals and entities respectively).
It further disclosed that the acknowledged copies of letters written to the entities’ local banks, the CBN and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice were usually done to not only give credibility to the transactions but also portray them as legitimate transactions geared towards supporting the Nigerian economy.
Noting that most of the organisations’ supporting documents were forged, it maintained that open source search revealed various websites where some contract agreements were found including the passport photographs of alleged business partners.
The NFIU advised the public to exercise some level of skepticism when dealing with telegraphic transfer documents from major European banks as nearly all frivolous claims emanate from the same jurisdictions and banks abroad.
The body stated that relevant LEAs should, on their part, take steps to effectively address the problem of fraudulent telex copies by ensuring the prompt prosecution and sanctioning of offenders to serve as deterrent.
It also noted that there is a need for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to sensitise its members on the importance of verifying and authenticating documents received from clients before taking action.


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