The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday disclosed its resolve to go after real estate owners laundering illicit funds through their business.
The Commander of the Ilorin Zone of EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, who disclosed this when he received the executive members of the Kwara State chapter of Estate Rent and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN), led by its Chairman, Adewole Onibokun at the commission’s office in Ilorin, called on ERCAAN to avoid being used as a conduit pipe for money laundering and join hands with the commission in the fight against corruption.
He said, “Real estate is an avenue through which corrupt Nigerians launder proceeds of crime.
“Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. The EFCC will go after anyone that violates any of the extant laws guiding the operations of real estate agents in the country.”
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He advised them to, “Pay serious attention to the provisions of the new Money Laundering Act, 2022 (as amended) and the Advance Fee Fraud Act and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.”
He explained that the provision of the law placed serious responsibilities on real estate agents to make KYC (Know Your Customer) a precondition in dealing with customers so as to be free of liabilities in case of any eventuality.
Earlier, the association’s Chairman in Kwara State, Mr Onibokun, expressed the willingness of his members to assist the commission in fighting money laundering and other financial crimes in the real estate sector.