The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has pledged to uncover individuals who utilize real estate to launder money and engage in financial fraud in Abuja, Lagos, and other states. According to Chris Mishela, an EFCC lawyer, the agency suspects that several estates were funded with the proceeds of fraudulent and illegal activities, and the EFCC is committed to exposing those who use real estate as a means of laundering money.
Speaking at a training session for journalists on economic and financial crimes in Benin City, Edo State, Mishela highlighted that real estate is one of the designated and non-designated professions that are under the EFCC’s obligation to do a full disclosure. The new Money Laundering Act provides an opening for the government to investigate the aspect of real estate, and the EFCC has identified that some estates are proceeds of crime.
The EFCC is not currently conducting an investigation, but rather working to identify specific proceeds of crime. The training was conducted to update journalists on the framework of the new anti-money laundering Act 2022 and the role they were expected to play.
The Head of the Cyber Crimes Unit in EFCC, Benin, Mrs Oluwakemi Olawoyin, cautioned the public not to open links they did not initiate while on the internet during her presentation on risks and benefits associated with digital payment systems. She also advised the public to beware of unsecured sites while transacting on e-business platforms.
Mr. Dele Oyewale, the Assistant Commander of the Public Affairs Unit of the EFCC, urged journalists to provide the commission with leads for fraud investigations through their investigative reporting. The workshop was held to inform the public about the expanded scope of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act 2022 in comparison to the repealed Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011.