Illorin - September 21 - Viewpoint Housing News – The Commander of the Ilorin Zonal Command, Illorin zone of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Michael Nzekwe has advised real estate agents to team up with the Commission against corruption and avoid being used as a conduit for money laundering.
While playing host to the executive members of the Kwara Chapter of Estate Rent and Commission Agent Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN), led by its Chairman, Adewole Onibokun at the Commission’s office in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, Nzekwe said his Command was determined to fight financial crime through enforcement of all regulations with a view to curtailing sharp practices and money laundering, especially in the real estate sector.
“Real estate is an avenue through which corrupt Nigerians launder proceeds of crime, he said.
“I was delighted when I got your letter that you would be coming on a courtesy visit because I know the visit will offer us the opportunity to discuss how we can deal with this issue”.
Nzekwe described the Association as one of the critical stakeholders in the fight against corruption and admonished members to live above board, while paying serious attention to the provisions of the new Money Laundering Act, 2022 (as amended) and the Advance Fee Fraud Act and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
The Zonal Commander urged his guests to adequately acquaint themselves with the laws and regulations guiding the real estate sector particularly Section 3 of the AFF Act, 2006 which states that, “a person who, being the occupier or is concerned in the management of any premises, causes or knowingly permits the premises to be used for any purpose which constitutes an offence under this Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term not more than 15 years and not less than 5 years without the option of a fine”.
He said this provision of the law placed serious responsibilities on Real Estate Agents to make “KYC” (Know Your Customer) a precondition in dealing with customers so as to be free of liabilities in case of any eventuality.
He also called on members of the association to ensure compliance with the regulation requiring registration and certification of their businesses by the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering, SCUML and urged them to report suspicious transactions to the appropriate agency as required by the law.
Earlier, the Association’s Chairman in Kwara State, Mr. Onibokun commended the giant strides of the Ilorin Zonal Command in fighting corruption and expressed the willingness of his members to assist the Commission in fighting money laundering and other financial crimes in the real estate sector.