Real Estate is Centre of Money Laundering in Nigeria-EFCC Boss


Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, has disclosed that Nigeria’s real estate sector is the central nervous system of the country’s money laundering business. Bawa made the disclosure while speaking on a television programme in Lagos on Monday.
Bawa, who revealed that the sector covers over 90 per cent of money laundering cases being handled by the EFCC, gave the instance of an unnamed female minister who reportedly laundered $37m in a property deal with an unnamed bank. According to him, the unnamed female minister was approached by a bank which needed to dispose a property and it was settled for $37.5m out which the said minister made a cash deposit of $20m.
“One of the problems we have in the country is the real estate. Ninety to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate. Of course, they are being regulated but they are not enough in terms of how they give their returns to the Special Control Unit.
We investigated a matter in which a bank MD marketed a property to a minister and agreed to purchase it at $37.5m. The bank then sent a vehicle to her house to evacuate $20m from her house in the first instance.
The bank succeeded to put it in their system and paid the developer and then a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle where the title documents were transferred into and of course, he is posing as the owner of the house.
Without the help of the banker, the minister couldn’t have imagined collecting $20m from anyone with opportunity from the real sector. She could not have thought of where to launder the proceeds of crime,” Bawa explained.

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