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Senate passes law tightening money laundering rules

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Nigeria’s Senate passed a bill that will amend money laundering regulations, including making it mandatory for commercial banks to report suspicious transactions.

The Money Laundering Prevention and Prohibition Act 2022 requires banks to report all single transactions worth more than N5 million entered into by individuals and those involving corporate worth more 10 million naira to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering. The panel will be established as part of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

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Jail sentences ranging from two years to five years will be imposed on individuals who break the new law, while institutions face fines of as much as N50 million and their relevant officials could be prosecuted, the government said in an emailed statement.

Banks, other institutions and professionals will also be legally required “to identify and assess the money laundering and terrorism financing risks that may arise in relation to the development of new products and new business practices,” it said.

Nigeria’s lower House of Representatives will also have to pass the bill before it can be sent to President Muhammadu Buhari to sign it into law. ~Bloomberg

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