The Central Bank of Nigeria has raised the alarm over the resurgence of illegal money transfer operators and Banks operating within the country.
This is happening as most of Nigeria’s institutions are slowly loosing control of their operational frameworks. Rampant corruption, inefficiency and a shrinking economy is creating a huge network of underground systems that are replacing established agencies.
The return of the illegal operators was coming after the apex bank had approved the applications of 32 more companies for money transfers, beside Ria, MoneyGram and Western Union.
In a statement signed by the Acting Director of Corporate Communications Department, Isaac Okorafor, the unscrupulous operators, lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate and use Naira accounts opened in local banks ostensibly for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries, while channeling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market.
“This practice has led to non-reporting of such transactions to relevant authorities thereby undermining effective surveillance of the sector as well as leading to discrepancies in statistics on the transactions between countries of origin of remittance and the destination country, Nigeria.
“Against this background, Nigerians in the Diaspora are advised not to patronise unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators, as they stand the risk of losing their hard-earned money.
“Similarly, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are enjoined to ensure painstaking conduct of “Know Your Customers’ Business” (KYB) in order to prevent the use of accounts for illegal transactions and avoid regulatory sanctions. In addition, such accounts, when discovered, will be blocked and the operators handed over to appropriate law enforcement agencies for prosecution,” he said.