The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, descended on non-governmental organisations in the country, describing some of them as vehicles for money laundering.
Head of the agency’s Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML, Angela Nworgu, who made the allegation at a seminar for non-financial institutions in Abuja, also accused some of the organisations of serving as a conduit for money laundering and criminal activities.
Nworgu said that research by the Financial Action Task Force had indicated that money launderers use NGOs to carry out layering of stolen wealth through several countries to disguise the actual origin of the money.
She said it was discovered that “such elements did not mind losing 40 per cent of the total amount in the process, because it is money gotten from illegitimate means”.
But many NGOs in Nigeria have kicked against the labeling by the EFCC, asking it to name the particular groups involved in money laundering.
One of them, the Programme and Advocacy Coordinator of Network on Police Reform in Nigeria, Mr. Okechukwu Nwanguma, described the allegation as reckless and unfounded, since there was no proof that any NGO had been indicted for money laundering by the anti-graft agency.
Nwanguma said in the absence of any arrest of either an NGO or an international development partner by the commission, it was wrong to blackmail the organisations.
He, however, called on EFCC to work towards checking rising corruption in the country and justify its existence. Nwanguma said, “let the EFCC give us one specific case of money laundering that any NGO has been involved in Nigeria and what they have done about it.”