Police indicts ex-gov for money laundering
THE Nigeria Police has indicted a former Governor of Kwara State, (names withheld) and some of his associates for money laundering and consequently recommended their prosecution on money laundering charges.
In a report of its Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of investigation into a petition dated 11 September 2011, addressed to the Inspector-General of Police, Joy Petroleum Ltd alleged illegal withdrawals from its accounts by the then Intercontinental Bank Plc., the Police found that the former governor and another person conspired to breach the Money Laundering Act.
In the said report signed by CSP Okpoziakpo Eloho, it also named the former governor’s wife, and three others.
Trouble started after a Personal Assistant to the former governor who was Managing Director of Joy Petroleum Ltd (names withheld) died and his younger brother, (names withheld), who took over the management of the company petitioned the Inspector-General of Police requesting investigation into the authority that conferred a lawyer with the position of authorized signatory to the company.
SFU claimed that in the course of investigating the firm’s allegation, “several documents relating to Joy Petroleum Ltd transactions with the Intercontinental Bank Plc were obtained from the bank including Joy Petroleum Ltd statement of account.
The report stated thus: “Though the account is still under forensic scrutiny, the investigation has so far found the following:
•That the manner of the cash deposit into these accounts suggests the inference that they were used to launder money.
•That the cash deposits were done in a fashion designed to evade the provisions of the Money Laundering Act i.e. the cash were split to fall below the maximum cash threshold specified by the Act for the banks to report to the NFIU/CBN. 6.6.
•That while the Naira denominated account received cash lodgments in excess of N564, 592,173.61 million, the dollar denominated account received over $5 million.
•That the frequencies of the cash lodgments are unjustifiable considering the nature of the business of the company.
•That the Personal Assistant to the former governor and Deputy Managing Director and Sole Signatory to the account is found to have deposited a total cash of N86, 685,500.00 between 10th and 12th of June 2008.
•That most of the cash deposits were by two individuals.
•That the MD/CEO, a particular company of Polybag Industries Ltd has denied doing any business with that would have necessitated the flurry of Dollar cash lodgments and transfers narration in the name of Polybag Industries Ltd found in the particular company Dollar denominated account save for a one-time rent of about N13, 000, 000. 00.
•That the MD/CEO of a company operating under the name and style ‘YADOB INT’L LTD’ (a customer of all the former governor’s companies) in whose name cash deposits totaling N210 million between 11th and 19th February 2010 made in two tranches of N60 million and three tranches of N30 million each has denied knowledge of these deposits made in his company name.
•That the MD/CEO of Yadob Int’l Ltd has denied knowledge of some of the dollar inflows into the dollar denominated account of the particular company that were purported to have come from Polybag Ind. Ltd/Yadob Int’l Ltd.
•That investigation is still probing a company operating under the name and style SOJITZ GLOBAL TRADING LTD that was observed to have also made several cash deposits running into several tens of millions of Naira into the account.”
It said it is still expecting documents from a new generation bank evidencing their compliance with the provisions of the Money Laundering Act for the cash lodgments of unjustifiable frequencies.
Meanwhile the investigation, with respect to the new generation bank account discoveries, has been intensified towards bringing the persons in for interrogation.
Accordingly, SFU report stated that the activities of the former governor’s Personal Assistant, other personal staff that “helped him in laundering the monies in bits including the companies that helped transform the naira to foreign exchange thus making it possible for him in washing the cash overseas are in contravention of the provisions of the Money Laundering Act.”
It recommended them to be prosecuted for offences relating to Money Laundering and for breaching the Forex (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Section 12(1), Section 29(2) a and b, Section 39(3)(4) Section 30(1)(a), (2)(b).” The said report was dated March 10, 2014.
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