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Senate Bills to speed prosecution of money launderers, terrorist financiers pass second reading



The Senate on Wednesday analysed two bills that seek to facilitate the swift prosecution of money launderers and terrorist financiers in the country.

Ripples Nigeria gathered that these bills, which sought to provide a framework for the prosecution of public servants with unexplained sources of wealth, eventually scaled the second reading at the plenary.

The Bills, titled: “Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2021,” and “Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2021” were sponsored by Senators Suleiman Umar (Kwara North) and Suleiman Abdu Kwari (Kaduna North).

In his submission, Umar explained that the proposed law sought to repeal the extant Act and enact the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2021.

According to him, this was necessary to provide a more comprehensive legal and institutional framework for the prevention and prohibition of money laundering in Nigeria.

The Bill took into cognisance emerging trends in money laundering as an offence, which included investment or funds transfer made or obtained fraudulently into legitimate businesses to make the illicit funds difficult to trace, the lawmaker explained.

Supporting the Bill, Smart Adeyemi (Kogi West), said: “There is no doubt that this government, more than any other government in the history of our country, has taken the crusade against money laundering and corruption as a task that must be achieved.

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“There is no doubt that billions of dollars and pounds have been siphoned from our system to foreign nations, especially by those who have held political offices in the past.”

Thereafter, Senate President Ahmad Lawan referred to the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2021, and Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) (Repeal & Re-enactment) Bill, 2021, to the Senate Committee on Anti-Corruption and Financial Crimes for further legislative work.

He explained that the United Nations Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention (UN-ODCCP) (1999) describes money laundering as the concealment or disguising of the true nature, source, location, disposition, movement rights with respect to or ownership of property, knowing that such property is derived from an offence.

He gave the Committee Chairman Suleiman Abdu Kwari four weeks to report back to plenary.

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