By Suoyo Ekubo
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has charged real estate operators in Port Harcourt and environs to be professional and ensure due diligence in dealing with their customers.
Assistant Commander of the EFCC, Ibinabo Mary Amachree gave the charge in a welcome address to participants at a recent sensitization workshop on Anti-Money Laundering, Combating the Financing Terrorism and Countering Proliferation Financing, AML/CFT/CPF organized by the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML at Osborn La Palm Royal Resort, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Ibinabo who represented the Director SCUML, Daniel Isei, advised real estate operators to be law abiding and avoid being used by corrupt politicians in syphoning the nation’s resources.
“I urged you to always conduct due diligence, and the principle of Know Your Customers, KYC before consummating any transaction”, she said.
She identified the sector’s vulnerabilities to include, activities of unlicensed operators due to weak entry controls, cash transactions , and use of third parties .
She however charged the operators not to allow themselves to be used by corrupt elements in perpetrating crimes involving money laundering.
Similarly, Mr. Sunji Audu, Head, SCUML, Port Harcourt Command, enlightened the operators on the need to build the capacity of their staff and appoint Compliance Officers in line with provisions of the Money Laundering Act, 2022.
Abubakar Bello of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, enlightened the participants on how to identify and report suspicious transactions to the NFIU.
“All real estate agents must report every suspicious financial transaction to the NFIU immediately the transactions are consummated”, he said
He warned that not reporting of such activities or transactions attracts sanctions or penalties.