• Tony Igele

5,000 Nigerians die while migrating to Europe in 2 yrs

BENIN—DIRECTOR, Programme and Project, Inter-Governmental Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa, GIABA, Dr Buno Nduka, has disclosed that in the last two years, no fewer than 5,000 Nigerian youths have died while migrating to Europe through Libya and Morocco in their quest for greener pastures.

He also disclosed that over 300 Nigerian girls are in various prisons in Senegal, serving jail terms for their involvement in criminal activities, adding that some are forced into prostitution or locked up and made to bear children that are sold to couples in need of children.

Nduka, at the Annual Public Lecture Series on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism in West Africa, organised by GIABA, which took place in Benin, Edo State, said that there was an increase in the participation by youths in several income generating crimes, such as kidnapping, currency counterfeiting, robbery, smuggling, environmental crimes, bribery and corruption, assassination, illicit drug trafficking and money laundering among others, without knowing the consequences which are enormous and inflict hardship on citizens all over the globe.

Speakind on The Role of GIABA as a Regional Initiative, he said that between January and April, 300 youths have been arrested for money laundering in the country.

He said, “In particular, youths are the most vulnerable with respect of their involvement in these criminal activities due to it trans-national natures and lives are lost.”

He attributed factors that facilitate money laundering to include complex financial system, lax or ineffective or poorly designed AML/CEF regime, countries with poor governance structures, ineffective laws and poor understanding of the consequences of money laundering.

“When criminal activities generate substantial profits, the individual or group involved usually find way to use the proceeds (fund, etc) without drawing attention to the underlying criminal activity or persons involved in generating such profits.

“Criminals do these by disguising the sources, changing the form or moving the proceeds to a place where it is less likely to attract attention.”

Nduka called for effective and appropriate legal frame and the establishment of functional agencies by countries within the Western African sub-region to tackle issues of money laundering and terrorism.

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