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Fighting illicit financial flows: The way forward

Illicit financial flow is the illegal movement of funds, money or capital from one country to another

There is no denying the fact that corruption is one of the greatest challenges the African continent has seen and as a result of illicit financial flows, corruption has caused a monstrous impact on the stability, economy and peace of countries, especially developing countries.

Since illicit financial flows involve moving ill-gotten funds from one country to another, fighting it becomes harder due to the stringent measures and different laws set by different countries. Technology also plays a vital role in the fight.

Illicit financial flow is the illegal movement of funds, money or capital from one country to another. Mostly, these funds are transferred from developing countries to already developed countries.

These funds are illegally transferred through drug cartels using trade-based money laundering techniques, corrupt public officials using anonymous companies, human trafficking syndicates and terrorist organisations.

In Nigeria, corrupt government officials and their private sector collaborators use fronts and ownership structures that do not provide sufficient information about the true nature and identities of the persons behind the illicit funds and transfer same to safe havens in foreign lands. This alone makes it hard for anti-corruption agencies like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to combat this menace.

Prevention and the need to be proactive in this fight plays a vital role in ensuring that funds and assets are not stolen and taken out of the country in the first place.

There is also the need for a multifaceted effort in addressing the issue of illicit financial flows and adoption of the 2030 agenda which provides the path to financial integrity for sustainable development. Similarly, we need to strengthen regional and international systems which will create a strong legal and financial system.


Abbas Abubakar Umar wrote from Jabi, Abuja

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