Defence & SecurityCorruption and Underdevelopment

EFCC warns real estate operators, landlords to obey KYC policy

By Paul Michael

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned Real Estate operators, landlords, and property managers in the country to desist from renting out, leasing, or selling properties to individuals that do not comply with the “Know Your Customer” (KYC) policy.

This was disclosed by the Commission in a statement on its official website on Thursday, noting that the Ibadan Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Assistant Commander of the EFCC, ACE Kanu Idagu gave the warning while addressing members of the Kolapo Ishola Government Reservation Area (GRA) Residents Association in a Town Hall meeting at Rolat Event Centre, Akobo, Ibadan, Oyo State.

Idagu said the KYC is a regulatory mandate for both the private and public sectors with the primary aim of mitigating fraud.

According to him, KYC was set up by the government to uphold and maintain the standard of conducting business and sanitize the economy.

“One major regulatory concept that was set up by the government to uphold and maintain the standard of conducting business and sanitizing the economy is the concept of KYC and it simply means Know Your Customer.

“This has become a regulatory mandate, which requirement is not only limited to the private sector but to all sectors of the Nigerian economy with the primary objective of mitigating fraud,” he said.

Idagu, who was represented by the Head, Extractive Industry Fraud Section (EIFS), Chief Superintendent of the EFCC, CSE Oluwasegun Oloruntuyi stressed the need for real estate operators to verify, monitor, and report any suspicious activities on their premises to the Commission.

He said such intelligence information will help curb and combat all fraud schemes, money laundering, and terrorism financing, which are major setbacks for the Nigerian economy.

He further reiterated the stance of the Executive Chairman of the EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa, regarding the use of premises for fraudulent activities, stressing that the law shall take its course whenever individuals fail to comply with Section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offenses Act, 2006, which states that, “a person who, being the occupier or is concerned in the management of any premises, causes or knowingly permits the premises to be used for any purpose which constitutes an offense under this Act commits an offense and is liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not more than 15 years and not less than 5 years without the option of a fine.”

Idagu commended the Association for its deliberate efforts and role played in sensitizing and enlightening the public in the fight against corruption.

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According to him, the EFCC is aware “of the role played by the real estate operators and property managers as major stakeholders in the fight against crimes and corruption. Hence, it is crucial to further collaborate in creating more awareness and enlightenment campaigns on the positive roles expected from every Nigerian.”

In his response, the Chairman of the Association, Barr Olalekan Thanni thanked the EFCC for gracing the event, while emphasizing the commitment of his members to ensure that the government has adequate information on every citizen who resides in Nigeria.

“The synergy between the Association and the EFCC will help reduce crime rate and make the Commission a pacesetter,” Thanni said.

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