The Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS), Alhaji Yusuf Bichi, on Monday called for synergy among the country’s security agencies to combat terrorist financing in the country.
Alhaji Bichi said in Abuja while declaring open a two-day Terrorist Financing Risk (TFR) workshop designed for law enforcement and judicial officers by the service.
The boss of the DSS, represented by the director of training and staff development, Mr Brown Ekwoaba, pointed out that the overwhelming law enforcement response demanded that everyone be on deck in order to expose the activities underlying criminal charges of the perpetrators for the purposes of arrest and prosecution.
Bichi said that beneath this expectation is a clear call to action for better inter-agency collaboration to detect, disrupt and prevent abuse of the country’s financial system by terrorists and other criminal networks.
According to him, “The ever-changing nature and sophistication of threats require security officers to think critically in order to find better and effective ways to counter threats.
“Among the evolving global crimes are money laundering and terrorist financing, which require the development of a national counter-terrorism and counter-terrorism financing (AML/CFT) regime for the country.
“Nigeria, as a committed stakeholder, must do its part to protect the integrity and stability of the international financial system by ending the resources available to terrorists, as well as preventing those involved in the crime of not profiting from their criminal activities, as stipulated by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).
“This process requires countries to identify, assess and understand the prevailing financial risks, with a view to mitigating them.
“A cohesive nation like ours must effectively disrupt terrorist networks by enforcing anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures.
“Through money laundering, criminal organizations and organized crime syndicates profit from their illegal activities, some using cross-border channels such as drug and human trafficking, arms smuggling, among others.
“With criminal elements perfecting the concealment of the origin of illicit funds, it is incumbent on us that a strengthened anti-criminal response to money laundering activities contributes to reducing the sources of funding as well as countering the financial incentives that fuel crime.
“I hope that this workshop will demonstrate, among other things, the relevant investigative techniques adopted and to be adopted by law enforcement in the fight against the financing of terrorism, as well as the capacities to identify the links between offenses under underlying and illicit financial activities.
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“While I recognize that the task of combating the flow of illicit funds can be daunting, it is not insurmountable. Therefore, we all need to unite our knowledge, commitment and focus to make a difference. »
Speaking on the occasion, the service’s director of operations, Mr. Joseph Nuhu Dashwep, said the service had developed and implemented a variety of strategies aimed at countering terrorist threats, backed by a decisive focus on their finance.
He said that regardless of the adoption of these measures, it should be emphasized that the effective fight against financial crimes and terrorism is a collaborative effort involving all stakeholders, in particular law enforcement, financial intelligence units, regulators and the judiciary.
“We must never lose sight of the complementary role that each agency plays in bringing to justice the perpetrators of these crimes and their sponsors in accordance with the objectives of the Financial Action Task Force,” he said.
In his own remark, Deputy Director of Legal Services Dauda Usman, who also called on everyone to be on top of the fight against the threat of terrorist financing, said no agency would succeed in winning the war against the threat except through the collaborative efforts of other agencies.