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According to a circular issued to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), the Central Bank of Nigeria has added Cameroon, Croatia, Korea, and Vietnam to its list of countries under surveillance for money laundering. To prevent money laundering, the CBN instructed banks to conduct more extensive transaction monitoring with organisations and individuals in the country.
In light of the recent placement of these countries on a grey list by the Financial Action Task Force, Nigerian banks and other financial institutions are advised to monitor transactions with these nations. The FATF performs its function to identify and promote measures to combat terrorism financing, proliferation as well as money laundering.
Chibuzo A. Efobi, Director of the Financial Policy and Regulation Department, issued a circular with reference to this directive. According to the CBN, Korea, Iran, and Myanmar are considered high-risk jurisdictions subject to the FATF’s ‘Call for Action.’
Under intensified FATF monitoring, all countries are collaborating to address strategic deficiencies in their funding regimes for financing terrorism, money laundering, and proliferation. Moreover, banks are encouraged to closely monitor Myanmar, Iran, and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, as they remain countries with higher risk to banks.
The CBN statement reads: “The attention of banks and other Financial Institutions is drawn to the outcomes of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Plenary conducted from June 21-23 to 2023 and the subsequent addition of Cameroun, Croatia, and Vietnam to the list of jurisdictions under ‘increased monitoring.’ Furthermore, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, and Myanmar remain on the list of high-risk jurisdictions, subject to the ‘Call for Action.’ Consequently, enhanced due diligence should be applied, and in severe cases, counter-measures may need to be implemented to safeguard the international financial system.”
The circular emphasised that “FIs are to be vigilant to and alert to possible emerging risks resulting from the circumvention of measures taken to protect the international financial system.”