However, another hope to tackle money laundering cases in Nigeria has been rekindled by President Buhari, who recently sent the “Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) bill 2016” to the National Assembly for consideration.
In analysis, the bill seeks to establish Bureau for Money Laundering Control (BMLC), which would be independent in the discharge of its functions and responsibilities.
According to the “Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) bill 2016”, any perpetrator of the crime is defined as “a person who knows, ought reasonably to have known or suspects that property has a criminal origin, commits an offence, if he conceals, disguises, converts, transfers or removes the property from Nigeria.
The bill prescribes stiff penalty for anybody found culpable of the offence and upon conviction shall be in imprisonment for a term of not less than seven years without the option of a fine.
Under the “Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) bill 2016”, any bank that is found guilty of money laundering would be liable for the fine of not less than N25 million and a designated non-financial business and profession would get a fine of not less that N10 Million if found guilty of the offence.
The proposed bill also stipulates three years imprisonment or above for anybody that fails to report persons involved in the illicit act.
It is self-evident that Buhari’s anti-money laundering bill is in tandem with the urgent necessity to establish a formidable financial intelligence body to combat money laundering, terrorist financing activities and other predicate offences in Nigeria. Such a body — as required under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2012 (as amended), the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2013 (as amended) or any other relevant law or regulation — would have mechanisms for sound policy and decision – making requiring adequate, quality and timely information analysis necessary for tracking and choking off the flow of proceeds from illicit activities that could impact negatively on our economy and national security in a more deeply or rapidly way.