The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has cautioned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) in the country to exercise caution when engaging in transactions with businesses and individuals in the Russian Federation, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran, and Cameroon. This warning was conveyed in a circular identified as FPR/AML/PUB/BOF/001/029, issued today by Mr. Chibuzo Efobi, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation.
The CBN stated that Nigerian banks and other financial institutions should closely monitor transactions involving these countries due to their inclusion in the high-risk jurisdictions list established by the Financial Action Task Force (FASTF). The FASTF serves as a global watchdog against money laundering and terrorist financing, establishing international standards aimed at preventing these illicit activities and the resulting harm to society.
Additionally, the list of countries flagged by the CBN includes the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Croatia, Vietnam, and Myanmar.
The CBN’s actions are in response to decisions made by the FATF members during a plenary session held last month.
The Circular reads in part, “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 remains 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.
“Additionally, we would like to emphasize 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.”