Money laundering: CBN places Cameroon, Vietnam, Croatia on watchlist


The Central Bank of Nigeria has asked Deposit Money Banks and Other Financial Institutions in the country to increase monitoring of transactions with businesses and persons in and from Cameroon, Croatia and Vietnam.

This was according to a circular referenced: FPR/AML/PUB/BOF/001/029, which was issued, on Thursday, by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation, Mr Chibuzo Efobi.

According to CBN, Nigerian banks and other financial institutions need to watch transactions with those countries because they had been recently placed on a grey list by the Financial Action Task Force.

The Financial Action Task Force is an international body whose purpose is to develop and promote measures to combat money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing.

Any country under increased monitoring is actively working with the FATF to address strategic deficiencies in its regime to counter money laundering, terrorist financing, and proliferation financing.

The apex bank also said that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar remain on the list of high-risk jurisdictions, which banks should closely monitor.

The Circular reads in part, “The attention of banks and other Financial Institutions is drawn to the outcomes of Financial Action Task Force Plenary conducted from June 21-23, 3023 and subsequent addition of Cameroon, Croatia and Vietnam to the list of jurisdictions under ‘Increased Monitoring.’

“Furthermore, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar remain on the list of high-risk jurisdictions, subject to ‘Call for Action.’

“Consequently, enhanced due diligence should be applied and in severe cases, counter-measures may need to be implemented to safeguard the international financial system.”

The CBN added that Russia remains suspended from the FATF, and banks need to stay vigilant and beware of any risks from transactions with the listed countries.

“Additionally, we would like to emphasise that the suspension of the Russian Federation from the FATF remains in effect.

“FIs are to be vigilant to and be alert to possible emerging risks resulting from the circumvention of measures taken to protect the international financial system.

“In light of these developments, FIs are directed to note all additions to jurisdictions under ‘Increased Monitoring,’ as well as, high-risk jurisdictions subject to a ‘Call-for-Action’ and take necessary measures to mitigate these risks effectively,” the CBN said.

Earlier in February this year, Nigeria was also grey-listed by the FAFT.

A recent statement from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence said the country’s positive push to get out of the grey list has compelled the FATF to slash Nigeria’s 84 identified deficiencies to 15.