• NFIU uncovers fake 36bn wire transfer from abroad

    Nfiu uncovers fake 36bn wire transfer from abroad - nigeria newspapers online
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    From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

    The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has issued an advisory to Nigerian banks and the public regarding fraudulent wire transfers from foreign entities.

    The advisory highlighted a surge in petitions received by the NFIU, where entities claim they were victims of criminal conversion of funds by Nigerian banks and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

    It identified several red flags associated with these deceptive transfers, including the use of forged documents, such as SWIFT messages, Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs), and supporting documents designed to deceive unsuspecting victims.

    The financial watchdog said some petitions were forwarded to it demanding the release of €30 billion, €6 billion and N30 million by an NGO, law firm (name withheld) and an individual requesting the NFIU and other relevant agencies to trace and recover funds.

    NFIU said the law firm submitted a petition on behalf of its client, an NGO, requesting the recovery of the sum of €30bn, transferred from a foreign bank to a bank in Nigeria.

    The petition further claimed the funds, which are meant for investment in real estate, had been blocked by a financial institution in Nigeria.

    The NFIU observed, “The common mode of transaction observed was by SWIFT wire transfer and all the messages provided as additional attachments were observed to be doctored/forged.

    “Records from the company registry revealed that the entities involved in such transactions are often newly incorporated, and in some cases, they are not duly incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC). Some of the account numbers contained in the petitions do not exist.

    “The sums mentioned in the petitions are often very large sums and in foreign currencies. The highest being €30, 000,000,000.00 Euros only while the lowest was N30, 000,000.”

    NFIU warned that these false allegations could result in a loss of confidence by the banking public and damage the reputation of both the banking industry and the entire financial system.

    The NFIU emphasised the importance of conducting Enhanced Due Diligence upon receiving notification of a large incoming transfer to verify the authenticity of presented documents and prevent fraudulent activity.


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