The Central Bank has issued a new circular warning Illegal Money Transfer Operators to stop facilitating illegal transfer of forex into Nigeria (especially at exorbitant rates) without their approval.
It’s unclear if this is just a toothless barking.
The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to the increasing patronage of illegal Money Transfer Operators by Nigerians in the Diaspora for the purpose of home remittances.
These unscrupulous operators, who lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate, use Naira accounts opened in local banks ostensibly for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries while channeling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market.
This practice has led to non-reporting of such transactions to relevant authorities thereby undermining effective surveillance of the sector as well as leading to discrepancies in statistics on the transactions between countries of origin of remittance and the destination country, Nigeria.
Against this background, Nigerians in the Diaspora are advised not to patronise unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators, as they stand the risk of losing their hard-earned money.
Similarly, Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) are enjoined to ensure painstaking conduct of “Know Your Customers’ Business” (KYB) in order to prevent the use of accounts for illegal transactions and avoid regulatory sanctions. In addition, such accounts, when discovered, will be blocked and the operators handed over to appropriate law enforcement agencies for prosecution.
For the avoidance of doubt, as at November 9, 2016, the following are the International Money Transfer Operators licensed and authorised by the Central Bank of Nigeria to remit money to Nigeria on behalf of Nigerians in the Diaspora:
See link to circular