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Nigeria warns of ‘illegal’ money transfers operators

Nigeria warns of ‘illegal’ money transfers operators

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again warned Nigerians in Diaspora against sending money through illegal International Money Transfer Operators( IMTOs).

The apex bank says its attention had been drawn to the increasing patronage of illegal Money Transfer Operators by Nigerians in the Diaspora for home remittances. The bank advised Nigerians in foreign countries to do their transactions only through licensed operators.

According to a  statement signed by  Mr. Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communication at CBN, “these unscrupulous operators, who lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate, use Naira accounts opened in local banks ostensibly for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries while channelling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market.”

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)
Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Okorafor says this practice has led to non-reporting of such transactions to relevant authorities, a development that allegedly undermines effective surveillance of the sector as well as leading to discrepancies in statistics on the transactions between countries of origin of remittance and the destination country, Nigeria.

“Nigerians in the Diaspora are advised not to patronise unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators, as they stand the risk of losing their hard-earned money,” the statement says.

“Such accounts, when discovered, will be blocked and the operators handed over to appropriate law enforcement agencies for prosecution,” it further says.

CBN says that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) should ensure painstaking conduct of “Know Your Customers’ Business” (KYB) in order to prevent the use of accounts for illegal transactions and avoid regulatory sanctions.

For the avoidance of doubt, the statement thus provided a list of the International Money Transfer Operators licensed and authorised by the Central Bank of Nigeria to remit money to Nigeria on behalf of Nigerians in the Diaspora:

As at November 9, 2016, the CBN says the following are the licensed IMTOs:

  1. Aftab Currency Exchange Limited
  2. Aws Malta Limited
  3. Caperemit Uk Limited
  4. Cashpot Limited
  5. Centrexcard Limited
  6. Colony Capital Limited
  7. Cp Express Limited
  8. Daytona Capital Management Limited
  9. DT&T Corporation Limited
  10. Etransact Limited
  11. Fiem Group LLC DBA Ping Express
  12. First Apple Inc.
  13. First Transfer Inc.
  14. Foren Money Limited
  15. Funtech Global Communications Limited
  16. GDM Transfer PTY Limited
  17. Homesend S.C.R.L
  18. IDT Payment Services Inc.
  19. Moneygram
  20. Nouveau Mobile Limited
  21. Pagatech Limited
  22. RIA Financial
  23. Sanaa Capital LLC (Money4 Diaspora Services LLC)
  24. Small World Financial Services Group Limited
  25. TCF Limited
  26. Trans-Fast Remittance LLC
  27. UAE Exchange Centre LLC
  28. Venture Garden Nigeria
  29. VTNetwork Limited
  30. Wari Limited
  31. Weblink International Limited
  32. Western Union
  33. Wi-Pay Global LLC
  34. Worldremit Limited
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Success Kafoi Journalist at Technology Times Media. Mobile: 08077671673 email: success.kafoi@technologytimes.ng