The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa has disclosed that real estate has become a major money laundering avenue in Nigeria.
In his explanation, while speaking on Thursday during a press briefing at the statehouse organized by the Presidential Communication Team, the EFCC boss revealed that many people who have stolen government funds have now chosen real estate investment to hide the money.
The anti-graft boss added that many of such real estate properties (lands and houses) are located in Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt.
Bawa however revealed that the EFCC has started going after those suspected to be involved in the illegal dealings.
“Estates are cropping up in Abuja left, right, centre every day. There are estates in this country that are sold off-plan, sold and paid for. So, it’s a huge problem that we need to work with the media to unearth this issue. On our part, we’re vigorously going after that, after the real estates, particularly in Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt. That is an avenue that we’ve identified as an area where they’re hiding money.”
Apart from landed properties, the anti-graft boss also revealed that the commission will go after those using exotic cars, jewelry dealers, and others as a front to hide stolen money.
Earlier, Naija News had reported that Bawa revealed that since his assumption of office, a number of recoveries have been made including N6billion, $161million, £13,000 pounds, €1,730 among others.
Meanwhile, a Federal High Court in Lagos State has dismissed the N322 million money laundering charge filed against Senator Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP-Delta North) by the EFCC.
Naija News reports that Nwaoboshi’s two companies – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd were cleared by the court.
Delivering judgement on Friday, Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, said that the EFCC failed to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged Nwaoboshi.
He held, among others, that the prosecution’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify.”