ABCON expresses concern over BDCs named among 15 terrorism financiers

THE Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) said it was concerned about the naming of six Bureaux De Change (BDC) among 15 terrorism financiers.

The Federal government had uncovered and identified 15 entities, including nine individuals and six BDC operators and firms, for alleged involvement in terrorism financing, the Punch reported.

It said details of the development were contained in a document revealed by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

“The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, with the approval of the President, has thereupon designated the following individuals and entities to be listed on the Nigeria Sanctions List,” it quoted.

According to Punch report, the six BDCs and firms are:

  • West and East Africa General Trading Company Limited
  • Settings Bureau De Change Limited
  • G. Side General Enterprises
  • Desert Exchange Ventures Limited
  • Eagle Square General Trading Company Limited
  • Alfa Exchange BDC

The nine individuals under sanctions are:

  • Tukur Mamu
  • Yusuf Ghazali
  • Muhammad Sani
  • Abubakar Muhammad
  • Sallamudeen Hassan
  • Adamu Ishak
  • Hassana-Oyiza Isah
  • Abdulkareem Musa
  • Umar Abdullahi

Reacting, the National Treasurer of ABCON, Gbadamosi Moh-Murtala, said terrorism financing had been a known issue but that it was worrisome that anyone on the street exchanging dollars is regarded as a BDC operator.

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“In Nigeria, we have licensed Bureaux De Change by the Central Bank. Someone trading in currency on the street calls himself “Bureaux De Change.”

“Notwithstanding, you see some bad people in any sector or organisation. That is not to say that some of our members are not involved, but they are minimal.”

He said for the Federal government to have named them means it had evidence at its disposal.

Stressing that the majority of the people engaged in terrorism financing were not licensed BDCs, he said the bad elements usually used different accounts to carry out illegal operations.

“That is why I can’t say what the Federal Government is saying is wrong; they are right.

“It is a thing every one of us knows; the Federal Government knows, even foreigners. It is not a secret thing.”

Moh-Murtala argued that the banks were the ones pushing the funds. He decried why the government and security agencies were appearing silent on the activities of the commercial banks in terrorism financing.



    “It is not a thing we can deny; it is a reality. Those doing it among us are not more than five per cent,” he said.

    He also noted that the people involved in the activities were people who had funds, adding that those funding them were outside the BDC business.

    “Most of the time, when caught, the security agencies use them as witnesses, not as the real financiers.

    “What they get from the millions they transfer for them is minimal. They don’t even know they are cheating them,” Moh-Murtala said.

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