October 21, 2020 / 3:16 PM / By CBN / Header Image Credit: Bloomberg
Changes in the trends of business activities and
financial transactions precipitated by COVID-19 pandemic inadvertently led to
increase in financial crimes globally. This therefore requires financial
institutions to adapt rapidly and keep abreast with emerging risks and other
developments while taking proactive steps to address the new and emerging ML/TF
risks. This includes investing in robust data mining and artificial
intelligence software to monitor transactions and also report suspicious
The Nigerian Financial intelligence Unit (NFIU), as
the central repository of suspicious transactions and other financial
information, had issued an Advisory based on comprehensive analysis of STRs and
other information available to it. The Advisory identified increased financial
crimes such as, cybercrimes, frauds, counterfeiting and substandard goods;
diversion of public funds and misuse of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs). Some vulnerabilities and Red flags highlighted
in the Advisory are listed below for your information and necessary action, please:
- E-commerce merchant with little or no history
or internet presence, suddenly receiving multiple payments from unrelated third
suddenly receiving multiple payments from unrelated third parties.
- Customer(s) suddenly engaging in the supply or purchase of medical supplies and
payment for goods and services associated with known brands, yet the
beneficiary is an individual not a corporate body.
- Unusual transactions dynamics from customer(s).
Expect to see more transactions for medical supplies, equipment and medication.
- Payment for goods or services associated with a
known brand, yet beneficiary is an individual not a company.
Diversion of Public
- Unusual volume of transactions, large
and frequent cash withdrawals and deposits.
- Immediate disbursement of deposited
funds to multiple accounts.
- The account signatory also a public/civil servant.
- Funds transferred from government account to
- Non-profit organizations suddenly
receiving donations in favor of Covid-19 patients or victims.
- Customers' account with little or no
activity suddenly receiving funds from one or more unrelated third parties only
for the funds to be transferred to one or more unrelated thirds parties.
- NGOs under the guise of paying COVID-19 victims
could actually be paying members of a criminal gang or facilitating terrorist
You are therefore advised to update Alerts protocol in
your AML/CFT monitoring tools, in line with the red flags and emerging trends
arising from the COVID-19 related financial crimes.
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