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Cablegate: 2004-2005 International Narcotics Control

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS LAGOS 002528

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL
JUSTICE FOR OIA, AFMLS, AND NDDS
TREASURY FOR FINCEN
DEA FOR OILS, AND OFFICE OF DIVERSION CONTROL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SNAR NI KCRM KTFN
SUBJECT: 2004-2005 INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL
STRATEGY REPORT (INCSR), MONEY LAUNDERING AND
FINANCIAL CRIMES.

REF: STATE 254401

Nigeria is still the most populous country in Africa.
It has a large economy that has been mismanaged over
the past years and as a result poverty is prevailing.
The economy is growing but not at the pace to cater
for the high unemployment. Because of the economic
problems faced by the society, Nigerians have resorted
to crimes such as trafficking of persons, narcotics
and financial fraud commonly known as 419. Efforts
have been made by the government to put an end to
these crimes but the socio-economic conditions have
not been conducive to the measures put in place. "Four-
One-Nine" otherwise known as Advance fee fraud is the
most practiced form of financial crimes in Nigeria. In
2001, Nigeria was placed on the list of non-
cooperative countries and territories in combating
money laundering. It has not been proved that money
laundering in Nigeria is related to narcotic proceeds
or that the proceeds from money laundering are
controlled by local drug-trafficking organizations.
Most of the transactions leading to money laundering
is done through commercial banks and this is why the
EFCC is now mandated to regularly inspect bank
transactions.
Government law, policy and practice discourage money
laundering. This is seen from the laws enacted since
2002 and the institutions put in place to combat it.
Money laundering is a criminal offence in Nigeria
under the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2004.
This law also covers drug-related money laundering.

The economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
was created in 2002 and has actually been in operation
since April 2003. In 2004, EFCC has recorded
remarkable success in the area of money laundering.
Notorious Advance Fee Fraud Kingpins (419) have been
arrested and are currently being prosecuted by the
EFCC. These include a group that was involved in the
renowned Brazilian Bank scam involving $242 million.
Their assets worth about $300 million have also been
seized.

In 2004, the commission has been involved in the
prosecution of more than 100 high profile financial
crime cases in the Nigerian High Courts. These cases
involve Pipeline vandalization, tax evasion, bank
frauds and money laundering. For the first time in the
history of the country, a sitting Governor is being
tried for corruption and money laundering. Several
Nigerians have also been charged with terrorism. There
are several money laundering cases being tried in the
high court. In 2004 a conviction was secured in the
High court in Kaduna

In 2004, the Commission established the Financial
Intelligence Unit (FIU) as a pilot scheme. FIU is now
receiving and analyzing Suspicious Transaction reports
(STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs). This
helps the Unit to monitor money trail and typologies
for money laundering. EFCC shares these reports with
other Law Enforcement Agencies locally and
internationally.

However, in 2004, a lot of efforts were made. NDLEA
intensified bank inspection operations. Also, Nigeria
initiated and tirelessly followed up the establishment
of a permanent secretariat for the Intergovernmental
Action Task Force Against Money Laundering in West
Africa (GIABA). As a result of these efforts, Nigeria
has been removed from the list of non-cooperative
countries.

Nigeria is party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention
against Transinational organized Crime. Nigeria is
also a signatory to the UN Convention Against
Corruption.

The Government of Nigeria continues to ensure that
money laundering and other financial crime are reduced
in Nigeria. EFCC and ICPC are doing a great job in the
area. The laws are in place and if the constitution is
amended to provide for the prosecution of sitting
Governors for corruption, it will be a great
achievement in the war against money laundering.
BROWNE

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