EFCC warns Nigerians laundering money in Saudi Arabia

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 By Jimisayo Opanuga

The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned Nigerians who launder money in Saudi Arabia to reconsider their decision. The chairman of the anti-graft agency, Abdulrasheed Bawa, made the plea while signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (NAZAHA) of Saudi Arabia recently. Bawa said the MoU is a development that marks a significant milestone in strengthening international partnerships to address the complex challenges posed by corruption.

During his presentation, he also noted the importance of access to relevant information through intelligence gathering and seamless information exchange with partner law enforcement agencies, as well as regional and international networks, as factors that contribute to a successful asset recovery regime. Bawa highlighted the instrumental role of West Africa’s Network of National Anti-Corruption Agencies (NACIWA) in facilitating regular law enforcement cooperation, joint investigations, and coordinated efforts in asset recovery and extradition.

He also emphasized the importance of comprehensive laws for prosecuting both conviction and non-conviction-based asset forfeiture, saying that such legal measures would serve as a deterrent and enable the recovery of stolen assets for the public good. Bawa further reiterated the significance of trust-building among law enforcement agencies and stressed the importance of global heads of law enforcement agencies establishing strong relationships amongst themselves, based on trust and shared goals in combating corruption.

In his closing remark, NAZAHA president, Mazen bin Ibrahim Al-Kahmous expressed gratitude to Bawa for the extensive and insightful presentation, which shed light on the EFCC’s invaluable experiences in the field of asset recovery. Al-Kahmous also requested an expanded experience-sharing visit by the EFCC’s asset recovery experts to the Saudi Anti-Corruption Agency, which will allow both agencies to delve deeper into the intricate workings of the international asset recovery legal framework, allowing for more in-depth discussions and collaboration.

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