Senate passes bill mandating banks to report deposits over N5million to EFCC

Abuja—The Nigerian Senate Wednesday passed a bill to amend the Money Laundering Act of 2011.

The bill seeks to make it mandatory for banks and other financial institutions to report, in writing, to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering under the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, any single transaction or lodgment above N5m for an individual and N10m for a corporate body.

Section 11(3) of the bill provides that “any financial institution or designated non-financial business and profession that contravenes the provisions of this section commits an offense and is liable on conviction to a fine of not less than N250,000 and not more than N1m for each day the contravention continues.”

Section 12 of the bill prohibits the opening of numbered or anonymous accounts in fictitious names and shell banks.

According to reports by Dailytrust, the bill provides that any person or financial institution that contravenes the provisions of Section 12 subsections (1), (2), and (3) commits an offense and is liable to imprisonment of not less than 2 years and not more than 5 years in the case of an individual; and a fine of not less than N10m but not more than N50m for a financial institution, in addition to the prosecution of the principal officers of the body, and winding up and prohibition of its constitution or incorporation.

Section 13 of the bill further mandates financial institutions and designated non-financial businesses and professions to identify and assess the money laundering and terrorism financing risks that may arise in relation to the development of new products and new business practices.

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