Nigerian banks warned of drug-related inflows from Benin Republic

Nigerian banks have been warned on illicit monetary flow from the Republic of Benin, a tiny neighbouring West African country.

The Central Bank of Nigeria, in its circular signed by Asuquo Evelyn, urged banks to be vigilant of transactions from Benin, which it says is “increasingly becoming a drug trafficking transit and consumption hub in West Africa.

The circular urged banks to “implement enhanced measures for customer on-boarding and due diligence on existing accounts and transactions related to Benin Republic”.

Citing intelligence report, the CBN says it is important that “Nigerian banks are not used as conduit for laundering such illicit funds.”

“It has become imperative to intensify the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) measures in your bank as required by regulation.”

“Consequently, you are required to implement additional measures on customers and business relationships linked to Benin Republic. You are also required to re-classify related customers and transactions as high risk and conduct Enhanced Due Diligence (ED) procedures accordingly.

Nairametrics, in a report, opined the fresh directives means that Nigerian banks would take steps to determine account’s purpose and customer’s source of income. It said also that “all faulting customers would hence be classified as “High Risk” for money laundering and marked accordingly in the system.

The analysis also bears that customers will have to authenticate transaction by presenting relevant papers, such as invoices and other contractual agreements.


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