Banks in Nigeria and West African sub-region have been advised to join the fight against terror by making prompt and compulsory disclosure of suspicious deposits as a way of denying in-flow of fund to terrorists.
Director-General of the Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, (GIABA), Dr. Abdullahi Shehu, who gave the advice in Lagos, stated that since terrorism thrives on illicit funds, cutting off money flow will reduce the scourge of terrorism.
Shehu disclosed that terror groups are financed with proceeds of crimes like kidnapping, hostage taking, bunkering, smuggling, firearms trade, illict drug trade, corruption and levy.
Delivering a paper titled New Approaches in the Regional Fight Against Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in West Africa at a conference on combating terrorism in Nigeria, organized by the Association of Industrial Security & Safety Operators of Nigeria (AISSON), Shehu disclosed that the integrity of the international financial system depends on fighting money laundering and terrorism financing.
Noting that the annual in-flow of illicit money in the seven countries in West Africa amounted to about $73bn, Shehu said that with the compromise of the financial system, peace and security of the international community will be threatened.
He said the mandate of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) of the United Nations against money laundering has been expanded to include combating terrorism financing.
He challenged banks in the sub-region and the entire world to comply with various conventions and laws on money laundering and providing financial intelligence to the make the war on terror a success.