The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has cautioned operators of tourism business in the South-East against their high rate of non-compliance with extant anti-money laundering regulations for Designated Non-Financial Institutions.
The Enugu Zonal Head of the Commission, Ibrahim Bappa gave the caution in Enugu on Friday while addressing executive members of Society of Tourism Proprietors of Nigeria (STPN), Enugu State Chapter, who were at the Commission’s Enugu office at the instance of the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML).
“We have noted with dismay the non-compliant and indifferent attitude of some of you with regards to your obligations to stem the incidences of money laundering and terrorist financing in the South-east which has been the least compliant zone in this regard,” he said.
While warning the operators of dire consequences from the EFCC, if such a dangerous attitude persists among their members in the zone, Bappa noted that their compliance with the required protocols was not only necessary for the success of their businesses, but a patriotic duty that will preserve the country’s economy and image.
“We have to enlighten you so that you enlighten your members so that no one would say he does not know what is required of him or her and also for you to be on the same page with us,” he stated.
Head of SCUML in the zone, Tijani Kabo also expressed displeasure with the lackadaisical attitude of most operators of Designated Non-Financial Institutions in the South-east who would not register with SCUML, let alone live up to their responsibilities as reporting entities.
“SCUML in the zone has gone into an enforcement mode, having consistently warned operators not only to register with us, but to comply with all the operating requirements like conducting proper “Know Your Customer” checks on clients and reporting of suspicious transactions, all of which, if not adhered to, attract a fine that ranges from N1million to N25million,” he said.
In his remarks, chairman of Enugu STPN, Ogbu Amos, while promising a total compliance of the members to the regulations guiding the operations of Designated Non-Financial Institutions in the country, said he would convey the Commission’s observation to all concerned. The Society of Tourism Proprietors of Nigeria (STPN), Enugu State Chapter, is an umbrella association of hospitality business owners in the state.