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EFCC warns real estate agents against conspiring with money launderers

EFCC warns real estate agents against conspiring with money launderers

EFCC on Wednesday in Ilorin called on real estate agents to avoid being used as conduit pipes for money laundering.

“You are critical stakeholders in the fight against corruption,’’ Zonal Commander of the Ilorin office of the EFCC, Mr Michael Nzekwe, told the real estate agents.

The agents were represented at a meeting with executive members of the Kwara chapter of Estate Rent and Commission Agents Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN) who paid the EFCC a courtesy visit.

“You should live above board while paying serious attention to the provisions of the new Money Laundering Act, 2022 (as amended) and the Advance Fee Fraud Act and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

“Ignorance of the law is not an excuse. The EFCC will go after anyone that violates any of the extant laws guiding the operation of real estate business,’’ Nzekwe said.

He stressed that the zone was determined to fight financial crimes through enforcement of all regulations against sharp practices and money laundering, especially in the real estate sector.

He noted that real estate is an avenue through which corrupt Nigerians laundered proceeds of crime and urged ERCAAN members to acquaint themselves with laws and regulations guiding the sector.

Nzekwe also called on members of the association to ensure compliance with the regulation requiring registration and certification of their businesses by EFCC’s Special Control Unit against Money Laundering.

He urged the agents to report cases of suspicious transactions to the appropriate agencies as required by the law.

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Earlier, the association’s chairman, Mr Adewole Onibokun commended the EFCC for its giant strides in fighting corruption.

Onibokun expressed the willingness of members of the association to assist the EFCC in the fight against money laundering and other financial crimes in the real estate sector.

He said ERCAAN was founded in 1990 to promote the interests of Nigerian real estate agents who engaged in genuine and honest practices.

“We recognise the role the EFCC plays in checkmating corruption and we recognise that it has added value to our businesses, hence our visit to pledge our solidarity with it,’’ Onibokun said.

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