The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), an agency of the U.S. Department of Treasury, has placed former Nigerian Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his family members under close watch.
According to a report by online medium, PREMIUM TIMES, new findings have now shown that FinCEN flagged some transactions linked to the senior politician as suspicious as it surveilled money movements within the international financial system.
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These findings, according to the report, also offer fresh insight into how huge funds linked to Atiku may have been moved across international jurisdictions using shell companies.
FinCEN files, a new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, BuzzFeed and 108 media partners across the world, including PREMIUM TIMES, are a large volume of confidential financial reports relating to the transaction activities of world leaders, terrorists, drug dealers and money launderers.
The investigation is said to have involved 16-month collaborative work involving more than 400 journalists, including those from PREMIUM TIMES, in 88 countries.
The files included a large number of suspicious-activity reports, SARs, filed by banks and other financial institutions to the US Government as required by the Bank Secrecy Act., with the total amount in suspicious transactions reported being $2 trillion ($2, 099584, 477,415.49).
The SARS flagged subjects, including organisations and individuals, in more than 170 countries, and were obtained and shared by BuzzFeed.
In one of the reports, a $1,018,500 wire transfer on March 5, 2012, was flagged in daily monitoring by Habib Bank Limited New York, HBLNY.
The transfer originated from Guernsey Trust Company Nigeria Limited with the beneficiary being Tanjay Real Estate Brokers, a company which held a Habib Bank Limited Dubai account.
It was the link with Atiku that triggered a suspicious activity alert through HBNLY’s transaction monitoring system.
Reacting on Monday, Atiku described the allegations as a rehash of old false stories.
His spokesman, Paul Ibe, in a telephone chat with Daily Trust, said: “The sequence of events as reported in the story did not make any indictment. Consequently, it’ll be preposterous to assume one.
“As everyone is well aware, developments have shown that the former vice president has a clean profile in clean countries including the United States”.