Mr Ibrahim Lamorde, the Chairman, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has said that the international transfer of illicit funds was a major source of global terrorism financing.
Lamorde stated this in Abuja on Monday in a speech at the opening of a one-week training on cross border financial investigation for officers of the commission.
The Street Journal reports that the training programme entitled, “Cross Border Financial Investigation,” was organized by the EFCC in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
He, therefore, stressed the need to strengthen financial intelligence gathering across borders in order to monitor and effectively check cash flow to terrorist gangs, so as to win the war against terrorism.
He said: “This theme is timely, considering the challenges that are confronting us in the area of money laundering and terrorist financing.
“Illicit funds transfer across borders fuels organised crimes, including terror attacks and insurgency; Nigeria has been grappling with insurgency and there is a growing concern as to how these attacks are funded.
“Without attempting to provide an answer, it is not impossible that such funds are gotten through illicit means.
“My expectation is that this training programme will further expose our officers to new techniques in cross border financial investigation.’’
Lamorde disclosed that the agency’s collaboration with other sister agencies, such as the Nigeria Customs Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, had in recent times done a lot in checking the movement of illicit funds.
He noted that, bearing in mind the danger that financial crime posed to nations, EFCC’s target was to completely eradicate it forthwith.
Also speaking, Mrs Maria Brewer, the Deputy Chief of Mission U.S. Embassy, Abuja, said that the course was part of the American Government’s collaboration with the EFCC and advised participants to take advantage of the course to become better government officials.
“The United States recognises that financial crime is a global phenomenon and this course will furnish participants with the skills to check financial crimes across the borders. I advise the participants to take what they learn from here to become better public servants,’’ she said.
Also, Mr Ayo Olowonihi, Commandant of the EFCC Academy, disclosed that the academy was in the process of developing anti-corruption courses to further tackle the menace of financial crimes.
According to him, the Academy has become the institution of choice for the West African anti-corruption training and is also developing curricular that can be taught in tertiary institutions both in Nigeria and beyond.