By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Commercial banks operating in the country have been accused of violating rules guiding international money transfer inflows into the country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which made this allegation via a circular to banks, warned those involved in the unlawful act to desist from it or risk being sanctioned.
In the circular titled ‘Illicit International Money Remittances Through The Banking System’, the apex bank said it “observed that some Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are operating accounts either as companies or companies masking themselves as individuals for the purpose of illegally receiving money transfer flows into the accounts for onward disbursements to recipients in Nigeria.”
CBN, in the circular signed by its Acting Director, Trade and Exchange, W.D. Gotring, then ordered lenders to “conduct Know Your Customer’s Business (KYCB) checks on all their customers to ensure that they do not transact in illegal/illicit flows.”
“Consequently, DMBs are hereby directed to identify and freeze accounts receiving illicit flows, submit the mandate and account details of these accounts held in naira or foreign currency to the CBN for onward reporting to the security agencies,” the circular said.
It is believed that some banks in Nigeria have been engaged in this illegal act for a long time and use the avenue to get a huge amount of dollar from abroad.
Nigeria has battled with scarcity of dollar in recent times, which has weakened the country’s official currency, the Naira, against the dollar at the foreign exchange market.