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EFCC Charges Casino Gaming Operators On Compliance With ALM/CFT Regulations

By Our Reporter

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has charged operators in both the casino and gaming sectors in the country to comply with Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing (AML/CFT) laws in their operations.

This call was made in Lagos on Thursday, June 13, 2024 at a workshop tagged “Promoting Implementation of Customer Due Diligence and Targeted Financial Sanctions (TFS) Requirements in Casinos and Gaming Sector” organized by the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML), a Department in the EFCC.

Speaking at the occasion, Michael T. Wetkas, acting Lagos Zonal Director of the EFCC, who declared the workshop open, said: “ We acknowledge and appreciate your significant contributions to the nation’s economic growth. However, we urge you to ensure that your operations align with the provisions of the law”.

Wetkas, who was represented by Richard Adejumo, Head, Foreign Exchange Malpractices Section, EFCC, Lagos Zonal Command, added that “Our goal is to support Nigeria’s efforts to exit the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) list. A key area of focus is enhancing Know Your Customer (KYC) practices, which will help prevent Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) from using your platforms for money laundering and embezzlement.”

Earlier, Pascal Samu, acting Deputy Director, SCUML, EFCC Headquarters, said: “This event must be seen as part of the continued partnership between SCUML and stakeholders in the gaming industry towards the development of an effective, sustainable and mutually beneficial AML/CFT supervision of the sector in Nigeria.”

He further explained that as industry operators, they must continue to promote the adoption of measures, such as customers’ due diligence, detection and filing of suspicious transaction reports, implementation of targeted financial sanction and beneficial ownership verification, among others.

According to him, “This will strengthen your compliance and build a common formidable response against terrorist financiers and other criminal elements seeking to abuse the sector.”

He also stated that the workshop, in addition to building individual operator’s capacity, would also enable a cross-fertilization of ideas and experience-sharing across the industry.”

In his remarks, Bashiru Are, Executive Director of Lagos State Lotteries Board, LSLB, urged the participants to take the issue of compliance seriously.

In her presentation titled “Overview of Typology Studies( Corruption and Money Laundering)”, Ibinabo Mary Amachree, Head, SCUML Lagos, exposed participants to the various methods, patterns, and techniques that criminals use in exploiting casinos operators and how to avoid falling prey to them.

She also encouraged participants to support the EFCC in its efforts to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

Folashade Oluwasanya, a senior Compliance Officer with SCUML, Lagos, delivered a lecture on “ Implementing Targeted Financial Sanctions in the Casino Sector”, while Sylvester Akpan, also an officer in SCUML, Lagos, spoke on “ The Importance of Know Your Customers,KYC,/ Customer Due Diligence”.

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