FG Seeks Modern Technologies to End Illicit Financial Flows

The Federal Government has called on member states of the Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) to deploy modern technologies so as to end illicit financial flows in the sub-region.
Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) stated this on Tuesday in Abuja during the 2023 summit for Compliance Officers in the sub-region with the theme: “Intersection of technology and anti-money laundering; combating of financing of terrorism and proliferation”.
Fagbemi, who is also the Chairman of the GIABA Ministerial Committee noted that illicit financial flows posed serious threat to the sub-region, which is currently facing rising cases of money laundering and terrorism.
He noted that member countries should prioritise the deployment of new technologies to address the threats.
The Director-General of GIABA, Mr Edwin Harris said although technology provided new ways to prevent crime related to money laundering and counter-terrorism financing, but also has some challenges.
He noted that new technologies on anti-money laundering must reflect the threats and opportunities, and should be compatible with international standards of data protection, privacy and cyber security.
Harris harped on the need to promote effective implementation of laws against money laundering, terrorism financing and proliferation.
“We believe that in this era of rapid technological advancement, technology plays major role in anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism and proliferation compliance and in strengthening safety of global financial system.
“The pace of technology has continued to advance significantly in recent years, bringing with it hosts of technologies such as data analytics and machine learning, which promised improved safety analytic compliance,” Harris added.
Also speaking, the Director of Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) Mr Tukur Modibbo stated that countries and financial institutions should use technology to identify and assess money laundering terrorism financing risks.
Modibbo, who was represented by the Associate-Director, Analysis and Compliance Directorate of NFIU, Mr Muhammad Jaya informed that financial crimes are dynamic and across borders.
“In West African countries in terms of new technologies, only one country out of the seventeen countries have compliance, seven have partial-compliance, and nine which is 52 percent have none compliance in new technology.
“Globally, out of the ten most impacted countries in terms of terrorism and financing of terrorism, four are from West Africa.
“This is to underscore the importance of this great summit; we have continued to use technology to leverage technology in the coordination and fights against money laundering and terrorism financing,” he added.
He informed that Nigeria has deployed crime record information system into more than 40 competent authorities in the country and is leveraging technology to fight woes in crypto currency transactions.

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