The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has uncovered 96 financiers of terrorism, especially those backing Boko Haram and the Islamic State of West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The Nigerian government also said NFIU has unmasked 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change linked with terrorism.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed disclosed this at a briefing to share information on the anti-corruption fight of President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday.
He added that the agency has identified 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and seven co-conspirators.
According to Mohammed, 45 of the suspects will soon face trial.
He said, “For its part, the analysis by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), in 2020-2021, revealed 96 financiers of terrorism in Nigeria, 424 associates/supporters of the financiers, involvement of about 123 companies and 33 bureaux de change, in addition to identifying 26 suspected bandits/kidnappers and seven co-conspirators.
“The analysis has resulted in the arrest of 45 suspects who will soon face prosecution and seizure of assets. Also, from its analysis of tax evasion and tax avoidance linked to corruption, NFIU has identified N3,909,707,678,112.43 in VAT and N3,737,918,335,785.82 in Withholding Tax due to the Government.
“NFIU has also sent 1,165 intelligence reports on cases of corruption, money laundering and other serious offences to 27 domestic agencies for investigation, prosecution and asset recovery.
“On terrorism financing, NFIU had intelligence exchanges on Boko Haram, ISWAP, banditry, kidnapping and others with 19 countries. During the same period, 2020-2021, the organisation returned fraudulently-obtained funds totalling US$103,722,102.83, 3,000 Pound Sterling; 7,695 Singapore Dollar and 1,091 Euros to 11 countries of victims who came into the country.”
Mohammed added that the President Buhari’s Whistle-Blower policy has led to the recovery of N700 billion.
In April, 2021, SaharaReporters reported how over 400 persons were arrested by security agencies during a nationwide crackdown on some suspected collaborators/financiers of terrorists.
They were reportedly arrested in an operation being coordinated by the NFIU, Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), and in collaboration with the Department of State Services (DSS), and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The operation was said to have been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020.
They were reportedly being kept in military and DSS facilities in Abuja and other places.
Confirming the report a few days later, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said the Nigerian government embarked on “a wider and far-reaching investigations” into terrorism financing after the conviction of Boko Haram financiers in the United Arab Emirates.