The Federal Government has uncovered 123 companies, and 96 others linked to terrorism financing, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said.
He stated this on Thursday at a press conference, saying that the suspected companies and individuals were uncovered by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit.
He said, “To check terrorism financing in Nigeria, the Federal Government has deployed a plethora of tools, including the Money Laundering Act, 2004, the EFCC Act, 2004, the ICPC Act, 2000, Department of State Services and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit to deal with the issue of corruption, money laundering and terror financing. The ongoing harmonization of Bank Verification Numbers with National Identification Numbers is also a means of tracking the flow of funds within Nigeria and, by extension, tackling terror financing.”
Mohammed added, “For its part, the analysis by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, involvement of about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change, in addition to identifying 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and 7 co-conspirators.
“The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets. Also, from its analysis of tax evasion and tax avoidance linked to corruption, NFIU has identified N3,909,707,678,112.43 in VAT and N3,737,918,335,785.82 in Withholding Tax due to the Government.
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“NFIU has also sent 1,165 intelligence reports on cases of corruption, money laundering and other serious offences to 27 domestic agencies for investigation, prosecution and asset recovery. On terrorism financing, NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping and others with 19 countries. During the same period, 2020-2021, the organization returned fraudulently-obtained funds totalling US$103,722,102.83, 3,000 Pound Sterling; 7,695 Singapore Dollar and 1,091 Euros to 11 countries of victims who came into the country.”