The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned banks against transacting with Benin Republic clients and businesses in order to prevent being exploited as a conduit for money laundering and illicit drug trafficking.
Mrs Asuquo Evelyn, Director of Banking and Supervision Department, CBN, issued the warning in a letter to all banks, noting that the central bank has received intelligence inputs from reliable sources indicating the Benin Republic is becoming a centre for illicit drug trafficking in West Africa.
The circular stated: “We write to bring to your attention an intelligence report availed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which indicated that the Benin Republic is increasingly becoming a drug trafficking transit and consumption hub in West Africa,” the circular reads.
“In order to ensure that Nigerian banks are not used as conduits for laundering such illicit funds, it has become imperative to intensify the now-your-customer (KYC) and customer due diligence (CDD) measures in your bank as required by regulation.”
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