Cablegate: Nigeria: Central Bank Complies with Patriot Act
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ABUJA 000113
DEPT PASS TO S/CT, EB/ESC/ESP, AF/W
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCOR ETTC PTER NI
SUBJECT: NIGERIA: CENTRAL BANK COMPLIES WITH PATRIOT ACT
AND LOOKS FOR TERRORIST-HELD ACCOUNTS
REF: A. STATE 01 219298
B. STATE 01 218088
C. STATE 01 222432
D. STATE 4264
1. On January 4, Deputy Governor for Domestic Operations M.
R. Rasheed met with Embassy EconOff regarding steps the
Central Bank might take in response to Refs A, B and C
regarding the Patriot Act and additional terrorist lists.
Rasheed reported that the Central Bank would issue circulars
requesting all banks to examine whether they hold accounts by
terrorist entities identified Ref A and C. The CBN would
issue a separate circular requesting all Nigerian banks to
immediately communicate with U.S. correspondent banks and
provide them with the information required by the Patriot
Act, he said.
2. On January 9, EconOff sent Ref D list of terrorist
entities to Deputy Governor for International Operations
Ernest Ebi, who Post later discovered was on leave. On
January 14, EconOff sent the list to Deputy Governor Rasheed
who confirmed that the CBN would issue a circular by January
16 requiring all banks to review their accounts accordingly.
3. Rasheed said that the CBN would not undertake routine
investigations to ensure banks are providing full-disclosure.
However, he welcomed specific information on possible
terrorist links from the U.S. that would initiate a CBN
investigation into a specific bank's activities. Rasheed
commented that the CBN had initiated investigations into
Africa International Bank and Habib Bank based on suggestions
that they may have ties to the Middle East. However, no
terrorist-held accounts have been discovered as of January 15.
4. Rasheed, as former CBN Director of International
Operations, had worked with the U.S. Embassy and Treasury
Department extensively in the past, in particularly on 419
issues. He said that the CBN wants to take a leadership role
in West Africa and on the continent in fighting terrorism.
He has very strong personal feelings, having lunched on the
top floor of the World Trade Center on September 7.