The Federal Government has confirmed that they have discovered and secured the arrest of 45 out of 676 people linked to terrorism financing in the country.
Disclosing this on Thursday, is the the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed during a press conference in Abuja.
In his words, he said that the arrests followed the analysis of financial transactions by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) between 2020 and 2021.
Mohammed said 96 people, 123 companies and 33 Bureau De Change operators who are allegedly financing terrorism were uncovered by the NFIU.
“For its part, the analysis by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, involvement of about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change, in addition to identifying 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and seven co-conspirators,” he said.
“The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets. Also, from its analysis of tax evasion and tax avoidance linked to corruption, NFIU has identified N3,909,707,678,112.43 in VAT and N3,737,918,335,785.82 in Withholding Tax due to the Government.
“NFIU has also sent 1,165 intelligence reports on cases of corruption, money laundering and other serious offences to 27 domestic agencies for investigation, prosecution and asset recovery.
“On terrorism financing, NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping and others with 19 countries. During the same period, 2020-2021, the organization returned fraudulently-obtained funds totalling US$103,722,102.83, 3,000 Pound Sterling; 7,695 Singapore Dollar and 1,091 Euros to 11 countries of victims who came into the country.”
Mohammed added, “The Whistle-blower Policy is an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.
“The policy is meant to encourage the voluntary disclosure of information about fraud, bribery and looted government funds, including financial misconduct and any other form of corruption or theft.
” The Whistle Blower whose information leads to recovery is entitled to 2.5 to 5% from the recovered funds. Information and tips received are usually referred to the EFCC, ICPC, and NFIU for further painstaking investigation. The policy has helped in the cleansing of IPPIS, led to compliance on TSA and enhanced the Procurement Act 2007.
“As at 2020, a total sum of N700 billion has been recovered through the Whistle-Blower Policy.”