The Central Bank of Nigeria has warned Deposit Money Banks and Other Financial Institutions in the country to increase monitoring of transactions with businesses and persons in and from Cameroon, Croatia and Vietnam.
It also reminded the financial institutions that Russian Federation was still banned from Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
Nigeria’s apex bank gave the instructions in a circular with ref: FPR/AML/PUB/BOF/001/029, which was issued on Thursday by the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation, Mr Chibuzo Efobi.
It said the warning followed the Financial Action Task Force Plenary conducted from June 21-23, 2023, where Cameroon, Croatia and Vietnam were listed in a list of jurisdictions under ‘Increased Monitoring.’
CBN said that Nigerian banks and other financial institutions need to be wary of transactions with those countries because they had been recently placed on a grey list by the Financial Action Task Force.
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), a global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog requires countries to implement 40 recommendations which are considered to be international standards for combating money laundering and terrorist financing as well as the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
Any country under increased monitoring is actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in its regime to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.
The CBN circular published on its website reads, “The attention of banks and other Financial Institutions is drawn to the outcomes of Financial Action Task Force Plenary conducted from June 21-23, 3023 and subsequent addition of Cameroon, Croatia and Vietnam to the list of jurisdictions under ‘Increased Monitoring.’
“Furthermore, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar remain on the list of high-risk jurisdictions, subject to ‘Call for Action.’
“Consequently, enhanced due diligence should be applied and in severe cases, counter-measures may need to be implemented to safeguard the international financial system.”
Regarding Russia, the apex bank said the country remains suspended from the FATF, and banks need to stay vigilant and beware of any risks from transactions with the listed countries.
“Additionally, we would like to emphasise that the suspension of the Russian Federation from the FATF remains in effect.
“FIs are to be vigilant to and be alert to possible emerging risks resulting from the circumvention of measures taken to protect the international financial system.
“In light of these developments, FIs are directed to note all additions to jurisdictions under ‘Increased Monitoring,’ as well as, high-risk jurisdictions subject to a ‘Call-for-Action’ and take necessary measures to mitigate these risks effectively,” the CBN said.
FAFT in February this year placed Nigeria on its grey-list
A recent statement from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence said the country’s positive push to get out of the grey list has compelled the FATF to slash Nigeria’s 84 identified deficiencies to 15.