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NFIU exposes funding strategies of IPOB, Boko Haram, ISWAP, other terrorist groups



The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has revealed the strategies that terrorist groups like the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Boko Haram and ISWAP employ to fund their activities.

A newsletter released on Monday by the NFIU’s Counter-Financing of Terrorism Department, stated that the groups receive funding through crowdfunding, online transactions, and betting platforms.

Speaking specifically on funding avenues for IPOB, the NFIU said it had identified a “network of diaspora affiliates of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) across 22 countries around the globe,” it said.

“The strategies employed by terrorist groups to generate and move funds within Nigeria’s financial landscape include, crowdfunding, the use of online platforms and the use of betting platforms amongst others.

“Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, has faced significant challenges related to terrorism financing, particularly due to the activities of Boko Haram and other extremist groups operating within its borders,” the newsletter reads.

“These groups have been involved in various forms of illicit financing to fund their operations, including attacks, recruitment, and procurement of weapons.”

The Unit said further analysis also exposed 27 entities across the globe registered in the name of IPOB with the US and the UK having the highest number of registrations of seven and six registered entities respectively.

The NFIU said that in the past few years, over $160,000 had been raised by IPOB through crowd-funding, which was then funnelled to transmission, media and broadcasting companies in Bulgaria, South Africa and the UK.

The newsletter also said that addresses and mobile numbers of the leaders of the IPOB affiliates, along with information on 53 other individuals associated with the group have been forwarded to law enforcement agencies in Nigeria for further investigation.

To curb the outflow of illicit funds accessible to terrorist groups, the NFIU urged law enforcement agencies to investigate transactions by individuals linked to known terrorists or financiers, unauthorised tax collection or forced donations in terrorism-prone areas and Bureau de Change operators facilitating transfers within suspected networks.

Other areas the unit wants security agencies to beam their searchlights on include “multiple cash deposits in bank accounts, Point of Sale (POS) operators receiving large deposits followed by cash withdrawals, money transfers from Nigeria to high-risk countries, recruitment of individuals to open multiple bank accounts, and financial transfers to charities linked to terrorism etc.”

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