Real Estate being used for money laundering, ICPC, EFCC allege | Dailytrust

Real Estate being used for money laundering, ICPC, EFCC allege

FILE PHOTO: A residential estate in Apo
FILE PHOTO: A residential estate in Apo

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has alleged that corrupt individuals are using real estate as an avenue to launder illicit funds.

ICPC Chairman, Prof Bolaji Owasanoye, disclosed this in a remark before the House of Representatives Ad-Hoc Committee investigating the activities of estate developers in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Thursday.

He said that the Commission had carried out a study between 2010 and 2011 which revealed the sharp practices in the sector including massive corruption and injection of illicit funds.

Prof Owasanoye alleged that estate developers have formed the habit of selling allocated lands for mass housing in piecemeal to the highest bidders.

The ICPC chairman further revealed that where the houses are built, they were allegedly sold to the rich.

He added that the commission had in the process of its investigations and prosecution recovered 241 houses and 60 buildings from corrupt public officers.

On his part, the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mohammed Bawa, who was represented by a director of the agency, Daniel Esei, said developers were not complying with extant laws which aggravated the sharp practices in the sector.

According to him, developers break the laws by allowing third parties to make payments or buy houses, shortchanging the real subscribers.

He also disclosed that there was a need for more stringent laws to allow the application of sanctions on developers who go against the law.

On his part, the president of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), Aliyu O. Wamakko, said although what ICPC alleged may be happening, the developers involved were not members of the association.

He said REDAN members follow laid-down rules in their operations.

He called on the public to be wary of unscrupulous developers who are out to tarnish the integrity of genuine members of the association.

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