Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Lamorde, has canvassed for improved financial intelligence gathering by the commission and other agencies in the country to check flow of illicit funds, if the war on terror must be won.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of a five-day inter-agency training programme on Cross Border Financial Investigation organised by the United States Department of Homeland Security, for officers of the Nigeria Police Force, (NPF);
Other agencies involved in the programme include Nigeria Immigration Service, (NIS); Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS); National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA).
Lamorde stressed that it was of great concern that “up till now, the major concern in the fight against insurgency is on how the insurgents fund their operations within the sub-region.”
“A reputable strategy to fight insurgency is to deprive the insurgents of funds, because there is no dispute that illicit funds movement across borders fuels organized crimes, including terror attacks and insurgency in Nigeria,” Lamorde said.
According to him, “There is an urgent need to strengthen our financial intelligence architecture to enable us effectively monitor cash trails and check illicit cash flow to organised criminal gangs.”
“While tremendous progress has been recorded in strengthening the Anti-Money Laundering Regulations and the Compliance Regime in Nigeria, monitoring the movement of cash outside the financial sector, remains a major challenge, because of Nigeria’s predominantly cash-based economy,” he said.
The EFCC boss Chairman, also applauded the commitment of the United States government in assisting Nigeria surmount its contemporary challenges through institutional development.
Lamorde who said he had always considered the United States as a dependable ally in the fight against economic crimes and corruption in Nigeria, explained that the record of partnership between the EFCC and major US institutions, such as the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Secret Service, among others, bears testimony to this.
Deputy Chief of Mission, United State Embassy, Maria Brewer said that the training programme will expose participants to new trends and techniques in combating economic and financial crimes.
“Since economic and financial crimes is a global phenomenon, the training will focus among others, on taking away proceed of crime, because when you take away the money, you take away why people do crime”, she said.
Other dignitaries at the opening ceremony included, Benjamin Bryan, acting director, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement US Mission Abuja; Steve Robinson, Attaché, Department of Homeland Security Investigation, DHSI; T. A. Hundeyin, Deputy Comptroller General of Immigration, who represented the NIS boss, and Alhaji Hamisa Lawal, Commander of Narcotics, who represented the NDLEA boss.