Patrick Kelechi, Lagos – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has charged automobile dealers in Ilorin, Kwara State Capital, to ensure compliance with extant laws and regulations requiring registration and certification of their businesses by the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML).

Zonal Commander, Ilorin Command of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, gave the charge while playing host to members of the Kwara State Motor Dealers Association, led by its President, Alhaji Ahmed Dare Abdul.

Nzekwe said, “apart from enforcing compliance with SCUML regulations, the EFCC under the new Money Laundering Act, MLA, has legal responsibility in safeguarding the investment of stakeholders in the Non-Designated Financial Institutions, NDFIs, from the activities of fraudsters.”

Giving further insights on the activities of SCUML, Nzekwe said that “Under the new MLA, SCUML is now to be fully under the EFCC.”

He added that part of its responsibilities was “to ensure compliance of NDFIs including, but not limited to car dealers, jewelry dealers, real estate managers, hoteliers and other stakeholders with the provisions of the law.

“If we can checkmate the problems associated with laundering of proceeds of crime in this country, corruption and crime rate will reduce drastically.”

The EFCC zonal commander used the opportunity to urge members of the Association to support the Commission in its sustained fight against money laundering and terrorism financing in Nigeria, urging them to ensure due diligence in the conduct of their businesses.

He warned that negligence or non-compliance would attract sanctions, as “ignorance is no excuse under the law.

“There is a need for you to be very wary in your businesses, so as not to run foul of the law because we will go all out to enforce the laws to letter”, he warned.

Responding, the President, Kwara Motor dealers Association, Alhaji Ahmed Dare Abdul, thanked the Zonal Commander for the warm reception accorded his members and the explicit explanations rendered on the activities of SCUML.

While pledging the unalloyed support of the association to the EFCC’s anti-corruption fight, Alhaji Ahmed called on the anti-graft agency to set aside a date to sensitise his members across the 16 LGAs of the state so that they can also be better informed about SCUML and what was expected of them under the law.