Authored by Arome Abu and Eniola Apalowo
The President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday 12th of May 2022, signed into law, the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill 2022 into law, thence, repealing the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act of 2011.
The new Act has 31 Sections, as opposed to the 24 Sections in the 2011 version.
We have outlined below, some salient provisions of the Act.
LIMITATION ON CASH TRANSACTIONS- SECTION 2
Individuals are prohibited from making or accepting cash payment exceeding N5,000,000 or its equivalent except through a Bank.
Companies are prohibited from making or accepting cash payment exceeding N10,000,000 or its equivalent, except through a Bank.
REPORT OF ANY INTERNATIONAL TRANSFER EXCEEDING US$10,000- SECTION. 3
Under Section 3, any individual or Company transferring or receiving funds exceeding US$10,000, is required to report same to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), stating the name, address of the sender/receiver.
Any person travelling out of Nigeria with cash in excess of US$10,000 must declare same to the Nigerian Customs Service.
INDENTIFICATION OF CUSTOMERS
Banks, Car dealers, Hotels, farmers, supermarkets, betting companies etc, are required to demand from their customers, valid means of identification before any transaction.
SUBMISSION OF DECLARATION OF ACTIVITIES TO SCUML – SECTION 6
A new business entity in Banking, Car dealership, Hotel, farming, supermarket, betting business etc. must, before commencing business submit to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), a declaration of its activities.
An existing business entity in Banking, Car dealership, Hotel, farming, supermarket, betting business etc. must, within 3 month from the commencement of the Act, submit to the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML), a declaration of its financial activities.
STANDARD DATA FORM TO BE FILLED BY PROSPECTIVE CUSTOMERS/CLIENTS
Banks, Car dealers, Hotels, farmers, supermarkets, betting companies etc, must prior to any transaction involving any sum exceeding US$1,000 or its equivalent, request their customers to fill a standard data form and request that they present their international passport, driving license, national identity card or other document bearing their photograph.
Penalty: Fine of N250,000 for each day in which the offence continues; and suspension, revocation or withdrawal of license by the appropriate licensing authority.
LEGAL PROFESSIONAL PRIVILEGES- Section 11(4)
Legal professional privilege and invocation of client confidentiality, not to apply in connection with:
Purchase or sale of property;
The purchase or sale of any business;
The management of client’s money, securities or other assets;
The opening or management of bank, savings or securities accounts;
The creation, operation or management of bank, savings or securities accounts;
Anything produced in furtherance of any lawful act etc
PENALTY FOR MONEY LAUNDERING. SECTION 18(2)
Imprisonment for a term not less than four years but not more than fourteen years or a fine not less than five times the value of the proceed of the crime or both.
SHELL BANKS PROHIBITED. SECTION 12(2)
Section 12(2) proscribes shell banks.
JURISDICTION SECTION 23(1)
The Federal High Court is vested with Jurisdiction to try offences under the Act.
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