The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians in the Diaspora against patronizing illegal money transfer operators.
The apex bank in statement signed by the Acting Director, Corporate Communications. CBN, Mr Isaac Okorafor said the attention of the CBN has been drawn to the increasing patronage of illegal Money Transfer Operators by Nigerians in the Diaspora for the purpose of home remittances.
These unscrupulous operators, CBN said who lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate, use Naira accounts opened in local banks ostensibly for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries while channeling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market.
According Okorafor, the practice has led to non-reporting of such transactions to relevant authorities thereby undermining effective surveillance of the sector as well as leading to discrepancies in statistics on the transactions between countries of origin of remittance and the destination country, Nigeria.
Consequently, the apex bank advised Nigerians in the Diaspora not to patronize unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators, as they stand the risk of losing their hard-earned money.
Similarly, he enjoined Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to ensure painstaking conduct of “Know Your Customers’ Business” (KYB) in order to prevent the use of accounts for illegal transactions and avoid regulatory sanctions. In addition, such accounts, when discovered, will be blocked and the operators handed over to appropriate law enforcement agencies for prosecution.