The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued out warning to Nigerian banks asking them to be very careful with transactions related to the Benin Republic.
The warning was issue because of intelligence that suggests the country is increasingly becoming a drug trafficking transit and consumption hub in West Africa.
This was made known in a circular sent to Nigerian banks titled “NEED TO IMPLEMENT ENHANCED MEASURES FOR CUSTOMER ON-BOARDING AND DUE DILIGENCE ON EXISTING ACCOUNTS AND TRANSACTIONS RELATED TO BENIN REPUBLIC”, signed by Asuquo Evelyn E. for the Director Of Banking Supervision.
The apex bank suggested additional measures such as re-classify related customers and conducting Enhanced Due Diligence. It also asked Nigerian banks to strengthen its Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) policies, as mandated by regulation.
“We write to bring to your attention an intelligence report availed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which indicated that the Benin Republic is increasingly becoming a drug trafficking transit and consumption hub in West Africa.”
“In order to ensure that Nigerian banks are not used as conduit for laundering such illicit funds, it has become imperative to intensify the Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) measures in your bank as required by regulation.”
“Consequently, you are required to implement additional measures on customers and business relationships linked to Benin Republic. You are also required to re-classify related customers and transactions as high risk and conduct Enhanced Due Diligence (ED) procedures accordingly.”