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Nigeria.

Nigeria remains a major drug trans-shipment point and a significant center for criminal financial activity. Individuals and criminal and terrorist organizations take advantage of the country's location, porous borders, weak laws, corruption, lack of enforcement, and poor socio-economic conditions to launder the proceeds of crime. The proceeds of illicit drugs in Nigeria derive largely from foreign criminal activity rather than domestic activities. One of the schemes used by drug traffickers to repatriate and launder their proceeds involves the importation of various commodities, predominantly luxury cars and other items such as textiles, computers, and mobile telephone units. Drug traffickers reportedly also use Nigerian financial institutions for currency transactions involving U.S. dollars derived from illicit drugs.

Proceeds from drug trafficking, illegal oil bunkering, bribery and embezzlement, contraband smuggling, theft, and financial crimes, such as bank fraud, real estate fraud, and identity theft, constitute major sources of illicit proceeds in Nigeria. Advance fee fraud, also known as "419 fraud" in reference to the fraud section in Nigeria's criminal code, remains a lucrative financial crime that generates hundreds of millions of illicit dollars annually. Money laundering in Nigeria takes many forms, including: investment in real estate; wire transfers to offshore banks; political party financing; deposits in foreign bank accounts; use of professional services, such as lawyers, accountants, and investment advisers; and cash smuggling. Nigerian criminal enterprises adeptly devise ways to subvert international and domestic law enforcement efforts and evade detection.

Nigeria's AML/CFT progress in 2011 relative to its action plan was not considered sufficient by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which highlighted Nigeria's lack of adequate progress by adding Nigeria to its October 2011 Public Statement.

For additional information focusing on terrorist financing, please refer to the Department of State's Country Reports on Terrorism, which can be found here: http://www.state.gov/j/ct/rls/crt/

DO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS ENGAGE IN CURRENCY TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS TRAFFICKING THAT INCLUDE SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF US CURRENCY; CURRENCY DERIVED FROM ILLEGAL SALES IN THE U.S.; OR THAT OTHERWISE SIGNIFICANTLYAFFECT THE U.S.: YES

CRIMINALIZATION OF MONEY LAUNDERING:

"All serious crimes" approach or "list" approach to predicate crimes: List approach

Legal persons covered: criminally: YES civilly: YES

KNOW-YOUR-CUSTOMER (KYC) RULES:

Enhanced due diligence procedures for PEPs: Foreign: YES Domestic: YES

KYC covered entities: Banks, investment and securities dealers/brokers, and discount houses; insurance institutions; debt factorization and conversion firms, bureau de change, and finance companies; money brokerage firms whose principal business includes factoring, project financing, equipment leasing, debt administration, fund management, private ledger service, investment management, local purchase order financing, export finance, project consultancy, financial consultancy, or pension funds management; dealers in jewelry, cars and luxury goods; chartered accountants, audit firms, and tax consultants; clearing and settlement companies and legal practitioners; hotels, casinos, and supermarkets

SUSPICIOUS TRANSACTION REPORTING (STR) REQUIREMENTS:

Number of STRs received and time frame: 2,306 from October 1, 2010-September 30, 2011

Number of CTRs received and time frame: 11,580,836 from October 1, 2010-September 30, 2011

STR covered entities: Banks, investment and securities dealers/brokers, and discount houses; insurance institutions; debt factorization and conversion firms, bureau de change, and finance companies; money brokerage firms whose principal business includes factoring, project financing, equipment leasing, debt administration, fund management, private ledger service, investment management, local purchase order financing, export finance, project consultancy, financial consultancy, or pension funds management; dealers in jewelry, cars and luxury goods; chartered accountants, audit firms, and tax consultants; clearing and settlement companies and legal practitioners; hotels, casinos, and supermarkets

MONEY LAUNDERING CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS/CONVICTIONS:

Prosecutions: 639 from October 1, 2010-September 30, 2011

Convictions: 73 from October 1, 2010-September 30, 2011

RECORDS EXCHANGE MECHANISM:

With U.S.: MLAT: YES Other mechanism: YES

With other governments/jurisdiction: YES

Nigeria is a member of the Inter Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA), a FATF-style regional body. Its most recent mutual evaluation can be found here: http://www.giaba.org/index.php?type=c&id=49&mod=2&men=2

ENFORCEMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION ISSUES AND COMMENTS:

Nigerian authorities should work toward full implementation of a regime capable of thwarting money laundering and terrorist financing. In 2011, Nigeria enacted a new Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act (MLPA), which introduces the concept of corporate criminal liability ("offenses of a body corporate"), and a new Terrorism (Prevention) Act (TPA), which includes some new provisions on terrorist financing and the freezing and seizure of assets. The Government of Nigeria (GON) should ensure its anti-money laundering legislation comports with international standards and covers all the recommended predicate offenses, including terrorist financing. Currently, terrorist financing is not listed as a predicate offense for money laundering. The new TPA represents progress toward criminalizing terrorist financing, but it may not do so consistent with international standards. The GON should amend the law as needed to bring it into compliance.

Weak law enforcement and justice sector issues have hindered the progress of and thwarted many prosecutions and investigations. The GON should ensure the autonomy and independence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) from political pressures. The GON also should strengthen its supervision of designated non-financial businesses and professions. Moreover, the GON should ensure the range of agencies that pursue money laundering cases, including the EFCC, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, Nigerian Agency for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons, and National Police Force have the capacity to function as investigative partners in financial crimes cases, as well as work to eradicate any corruption existing within law enforcement bodies. The National Assembly should amend the 2011 MLPA to provide for increased autonomy of the NFIU and adopt safe harbor provisions to protect STR reporting entities. The GON should consider developing a cadre of specially trained judges with dedicated portfolios in order to handle financial crime cases effectively, and the National Assembly also should adopt a non-conviction based asset forfeiture bill.
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Title Annotation:Countries/Jurisdictions of Primary Concern
Publication:International Narcotics Control Strategy Report
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Mar 1, 2012
Words:991
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