The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been asked to investigate for prosecution of indicted persons within the management of 20 Bureau De Change (BDC) operators whose operating licences were revoked yesterday.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) revoked the licences of the BDCs after it discovered in the course of its examination of the sale and utilisation of foreign exchange that some operators purchased unusual amounts of foreign exchange from some Deposit Money Banks (DMBs).
The affected BDCs are FBN BDC, Amity Global BDC Ltd, Haruna A. Rahaman BDC Ltd, Majia BDC Ltd, Ahali BDC Ltd, Lawabash BDC Ltd, Bin Dahuud BDC Ltd, Garin Gabas BDC, D & D BDC Ltd and Daytrader BDC Ltd.
Others are Fatahul BDC Ltd, Global Payments BDC Ltd, Startime BDC Ltd, Planet Ventures BDC Ltd. Also affected were Fadima BDC Ltd, Optimum BDC Ltd, Secon BDC Ltd, Asabana BDC Ltd, Maiksal BDC Ltd and Alim BDC Ltd.
Obot U.O, who signed the circular announcing the licence revocation on behalf of CBN Director, Financial Policy & Regulation said: “This, we hope, would serve as a deterrent to others and demonstrate government’s resolve to stamp out money laundering and also the bank’s zero tolerance for regulatory infractions”.
He said the affected BDCs did not render returns on the utilisation of the foreign exchange purchased. They also failed to provide documentary evidence that their purchases were utilised for eligible transactions in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Money Laundering (Prohibitions) Act 2011 (as amended) Terrorism (prevention) Act 2011 (as amended).
The action also violated the CBN Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financial Terrorism Regulations (AML/CFT), 2013, the CBN Foreign Exchange Manual and the extant Guidelines for the Guidelines of BDCs in Nigeria and AML/CFT Regulations 2013.