How minister connived with bank MD to launder $37m

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Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says real estate is one of the biggest ways through which money is laundered in Nigeria.

While featuring on Sunrise Daily, a Channels Television programme, on Tuesday, the EFCC chairman said about 90 to 100 percent of resources are being laundered through the sector.

He narrated how the commission investigated a female minister, who he said, bought $37.5 million property from a bank and deposited $20 million in cash.

The name of the minister was, however, not disclosed.

“One of the problems we have in the country is the real estate. 90 to 100 percent of the resources are being laundered through real estate. Of course, they are being regulated but they are not enough in terms of how they give their returns to the Special Control Unit,” Bawa said.

“We investigated a matter in which a bank MD marketed property to a minister and agreed to purchase it at $37.5million. The bank then sent a vehicle to her house to evacuate $20million from her house in the first instance.

“The bank succeeded to put it in their system and paid the developer and then a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle where the title documents were transferred into and of course, he is posing as the owner of the house.

“Without the help of the banker, the minister couldn’t have imagined collecting $20million from anyone with opportunity from the real sector; she could not have thought of where to launder the proceeds of crime.”

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