Hotel owners in Edo State have been charged to adhere strictly to the provisions of the Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022, in running their businesses.
Nkechi Rita Ude, Assistant Commander of the EFCC gave the charge on Wednesday, June 29, 2022, while addressing members of the Association of Hotel Proprietors, Edo South Chapter, in Benin-city.
She said compliance with the Money Laundering Act was imperative as hotels and other hospitality businesses are Designated Non-Financial Businesses and therefore subject to monitoring, supervision, regulation by the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML.
Boyi Ibrahim, Head SCUML, Benin Zonal Command, said the essence of the sensitization was to ensure DNFIs are not used to launder the proceeds of crimes or illegally acquired wealth. “We want you to know about the laws and regulations guiding your business. We want you to know that you may inadvertently support money laundering and terrorism financing without knowing it. It is also to let you know about your obligations such as registration with SCUML, why you need to appoint a compliance officer, why you need to carry out customer identification, why you need to report transactions beyond stipulated limits, why you need to keep records of customers and so on”‘.
Ibrahim also highlighted the consequences or penalties for non-compliance to include fine, prosecution or suspension of business activities.
Nosa Omoregie, chairman of the Association commended the Commission for the sensitization. According to him, the engagement was not only informative but has deepened their understanding of the extant laws and regulations.