CBN certifies 34 IMTOs, warns Nigerians in Diaspora over illicit transfers
Barely less than 24 hours after an international agency rated Nigeria as leading in international remittances, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians in Diaspora against sending money through illegal International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs).
This is as the apex bank has listed all 34 operators franchised to do the job. Top in the list include Aftab Currency Exchange Limited, Aws Malta Limited and Caperemit Uk Limited.
In a statement, CBN said its attention had been drawn to the increasing patronage of illegal Money Transfer Operators by Nigerians in the Diaspora for home remittances. The bank advised Nigerians in foreign countries to do their transactions only through licensed operators.
The statement signed by Mr. Isaac Okorafor, Acting Director, Corporate Communication at CBN, said “these unscrupulous operators, who lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate, use Naira accounts opened in local banks ostensibly for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries while channelling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market.”
Okorafor noted further that the practice has led to non-reporting of such transactions to relevant authorities, a development that allegedly undermines effective surveillance of the sector as well as leading to discrepancies in statistics on the transactions between countries of origin of remittance and the destination country, Nigeria.
“Nigerians in the Diaspora are advised not to patronise unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators, as they stand the risk of losing their hard-earned money,” the statement says.
“Such accounts, when discovered, will be blocked and the operators handed over to appropriate law enforcement agencies for prosecution,” it further says.
CBN says that Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) should ensure painstaking conduct of “Know Your Customers’ Business” (KYB) in order to prevent the use of accounts for illegal transactions and avoid regulatory sanctions.
For the avoidance of doubt, the statement thus provided a list of the International Money Transfer Operators licensed and authorised by the Central Bank of Nigeria to remit money to Nigeria on behalf of Nigerians in the Diaspora:
As at November 9, 2016, other licensed IMTOs by the CBn include Cashpot Limited, Centrexcard Limited, Colony Capital Limited, Cp Express Limited, Daytona Capital Management Limited, DT&T Corporation Limited, Etransact Limited, Fiem Group LLC DBA Ping Express, First Apple Inc., First Transfer Inc., Foren Money Limited, Funtech Global Communications Limited, GDM Transfer PTY Limited, Homesend S.C.R.L, IDT Payment Services Inc.
Others are Moneygram, Nouveau Mobile Limited, Pagatech Limited, RIA Financial
Sanaa Capital LLC (Money4 Diaspora Services LLC), Small World Financial Services Group Limited, TCF Limited, Trans-Fast Remittance LLC, UAE Exchange Centre LLC, Venture Garden Nigeria, VTNetwork Limited, Wari Limited, Weblink International Limited, Western Union, Wi-Pay Global LLC, and Worldremit Limited.