The Central Bank of Nigeria at the weekend expressed concern over the high increase in foreign currency trafficking across the country’s borders. The bank, in a statement issued by its Director, Corporate Communications Department, Ibrahim Mu’azu, said such a practice negated Section 2 (subsections 3-5) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011.
Specifically, the subsections state, “Transportation of cash or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000 or its equivalent by individuals in or out of the country shall be declared to the Nigeria Customs Service.
CBN said “the Nigeria Customs Service shall report any declaration made pursuant to subsection 3 of this section to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The apex band added “any person who falsely declares or fails to make a declaration to the Nigeria Customs Service pursuant to section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, F34, LFN, 2004 is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to forfeit the undeclared funds or negotiable instrument or to imprisonment term of not less than two years or both.”
The statement urged those transporting cash or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000 in or out of the country to declare them to the NCS, noting that those affected would be expected to provide evidence of payment of taxes and duties related to the cash transaction.
The statement read in part, “The Central Bank of Nigeria notes with concern the increasing trafficking of huge sums of foreign currency across our borders.
“The general public is hereby informed that upon receipt of any notice of declaration from the Nigeria Customs Service, the CBN will investigate the source of the funds and seek justification for the possession of such volume of cash to ensure that no money laundering activity is involved. Those affected will also be expected to provide evidence of payment of taxes and duties related to the cash transaction.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the general public is hereby notified that the CBN (in collaboration with other relevant regulatory and security agencies) will promptly apply appropriate sanctions and penalties for the contravention of the provisions of this Act’, CBN noted.