BreakingNews 4/4/17 - Looted Assets: EFCC to set up anti-corruption desk in foreign missions

[ Masterweb Reports: Abdullateef Salau reports ] - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has proposed to set up anti-corruption desk in Nigerian foreign missions to fast-track the recovery of looted funds stashed abroad. The Acting Chairman of the commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu stated this Tuesday at a five-day induction programme for the non-career ambassadors-designate in Abuja.

 

He said operatives of the commission and other law enforcement agencies would be deployed to the Nigerian missions abroad.

 

At the foreign missions, Magu said the operatives would assist in the investigation of crimes bordering on money laundering, cyber crimes, advance fee fraud and issues relating to asset recovery.

 

"We can start with the posting of officers to US, UK, France, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa and Ghana in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs," he said.

 

Magu, however, lamented that asset recovery process is time consuming, complex and requires a great deal of resources, expertise and political will.

 

This process, which he said included tracing, freezing, confiscation and repatriation, presented unique challenges and rooted in international relations and diplomacy.

 

He therefore said collaboration with other international agencies is important in the efforts to recover looted assets.

 

The anti-graft agency, Magu said, has a strong network of law enforcement friends with INTERPOL, Metropolitan Police in UK, FBI in the US, among others.

 

These relationships, he added, has enabled the EFCC to often bypass long queues of bureaucracy to help each other in joint investigations and intelligent sharing.

 

"This is evident in celebrated cases we have investigated and prosecuted abroad, especially in successfully tracing and recovering assets of ex-governors Joshua Dariye, DSP Alamieyeseigha and James Ibori as well as the fraudster Emmanuel Nwude," he said.

 

Meanwhile, Magu emphasised the importance of giving free hands to the anti-graft agency to carry out its task, saying "securing full cooperation of the country's leadership to facilitate and give a free hand to law enforcement institutions to carry out their statutory roles is key in achieving success in the fight against corruption - more so when there is an international dimension."

 

He urged the ambassadors-designate to key into the anti-corruption agenda of the present administration and take the lead in the identification, tracing and return of stolen assets in foreign countries.

 

*Photo Caption - EFCC operatives

 
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