As the world rises against terrorism financing and money laundering, the Director General of the Department of State Services, Alhaji Yusuf Bichi Magaji, has said that only a deliberate, conscious and active collaboration among security agencies can help Nigeria contain the rising wave of terrorism financing and money laundering in the country.
The DSS DG, who spoke at a workshop on Terrorism Financing Risk designed for law enforcement agencies and judicial officers in Abuja, pointed out that the changing nature and sophistication of threats have made it imperative for security operatives to be critical thinkers in order to fashion out better and efficient ways to tackle terrorism financing.
The DG, who was represented by his Director of Training and Staff Development, Brown Ekwoaba, said that both money laundering and terrorism financing require the development of a working national strategy for countering the threats posed by the two monsters.
Magaji pointed out that Nigeria as a committed stakeholder must necessarily contribute its quota in protecting the integrity and stability of the international financial system by terminating resources available to terrorists and by making it difficult for those engaged in the crime not to benefit from their criminal activities as stipulated in the Financial Action Task Force.
But he said Nigeria could only do so by being able to do so by identifying, assessing and understanding the prevailing terrorist financial risks with a view to mitigating identified risks.
Magaji said: “The ever changing nature and sophistication of threats makes it imperative for security operatives to be critical thinkers in order to fashion out better and efficient ways to tackle threats. Among the evolving global crimes, is money laundering and terrorism financing, which requires the development of a working National Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) regime for the country.
“Nigeria as a committed stakeholder, needs to contribute its quota in protecting the integrity and stability of the international financial system by terminating resources available to terrorists, as well as making it difficult for those engaged in crime not to profit from their criminal activities, as stipulated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“This process requires countries to identify, assess and understand prevailing terrorist financing risks, with a view to mitigating same. A Nation striving for cohesion like ours must effectively disrupt terrorist networks through the application of anti-money laundering/countering Financing terrorism measures.
“Through money laundering, criminal organizations and organized crime syndicates, benefit from their illegal activities, with some utilizing cross-border channels such as drug and human trafficking, arms smuggling among others. With criminal elements perfecting concealment of origin of illicit funds, it behooves on us, that a strengthened anti-criminal response to money laundering activities will contribute to cutting off sources of finance as well as countering the financial incentives which drive the crime.
Our respective personnel must be guided by trust, honesty and patriotism at all times, while we as leaders, must exhibit exemplary leadership by mentoring them in the discharge of their duties. In other words, the overwhelming response from law enforcement agencies requires all hands on deck approach, in order to expose the underlying criminal activities of perpetrators, for possible prosecution. Beneath this expectation, is a clarion call to action for improved Inter-agency collaboration aimed at detecting, disrupting and preventing the abuse of our financial system by terrorists and other criminal networks. As law enforcement officers and judicial personnel, we cannot afford to fail our Nation,” the DGDSS said..