Money Laundering Workshop Held for Nigerian Judges & Prosecutors

Money Laundering Workshop


Judges & Prosecutors in Nigeria


8 to 12 May 2017

 Chris Douglas, APM

Between 8 to 12 May 2017, a 5 day workshop was delivered to Nigerian Judges and Prosecutors in Nigeria.  The workshop was organised by the UNODC Lagos and funded by the European Union.  And delivered by Chris Douglas, consultant to the UNODC.

During the 5 day Workshop the following subjects were delivered by Malkara Consulting:

Subject Description

1.               Asset Freezing, Forfeiture and Related Issues. The freezing and forfeiture of assets can involve complex issues particularly in relation to property ownership.  A range of entities can claim an interest in property that is subject to restraint and potential forfeiture.  For example, the rights of a lending institution or other third party that holds security over the property will need to be recognised and dealt with.  Unregistered lenders or creditors and family members, particularly those living in and/or using frozen property create particular problems when it comes to forfeiture.  Undiscovered family trusts further complicate forfeiture issues.  This unit will explore those issues with participants being afforded an opportunity through group discussion to identify solutions guided by the course coordinator. 

2.               Business & Property Concealment Techniques.  In this unit participants will gain an understanding of various techniques used to conceal illegal funds in a business or real property or how criminals conceal their ownership of a business or property to prevent discovery and seizure. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the study of how real estate and businesses or front companies (using cash swaps, co-mingling technique) are used to conceal and move money including using legal and fake loans.

3.               International Standards in Asset Tracing & Financial Investigations.  This unit briefly examines relevant international financial investigation standards; particularly standards prescribed by the Financial Action Task Force and the European Commission (Directorate-General Justice, Freedom and Security) as prescribed in the European Financial Investigation Manual.  Particular emphasis will be placed on ensuring participants understand key concepts for example, the difference between money laundering and proceeds of crime investigations, the meaning of effective control and the distinction between ownership and registration.

4.               International Cooperation in Funds Tracing. International inquiries pose legal and operational difficulties.  This unit will explain the informal and formal law enforcement cooperation schemes that exist to enable funds to be traced offshore.  Political, legal and logistical issues will also be canvassed to ensure that investigators have a realistic expectation of what can be achieved in the pursuit of the proceeds of crime and money laundering cases.  The unit will conclude with a discussion amongst participants on any potential issues involved in obtaining and presenting foreign evidence in a Nigerian court.

5.               International Funds Concealment.  This unit explains the basic techniques used by criminals to hide funds offshore.  Concepts of bank secrecy, secrecy jurisdictions and the services they offer including corporate structures (international business corporations, trusts and foundations) and their use in asset protection schemes will be explained.  A key aspect that participants should learn from this unit is an understanding of the key differences between where a company is formed, where it is sold, where it is ultimately managed and the assets it holds.

6.               International Responses to Money Laundering. In this unit, major responses to combat money laundering will be introduced including an overview of the role and function of the Financial Action Task Force, regional anti-money laundering bodies, the Egmont Group of Financial Intelligence Units and international conventions designed to combat money laundering, transnational crime and corruption.

7.               Introduction to Money Laundering. This unit is a foundation unit for money laundering.  The meaning of money laundering is explained and participants are introduced to the money laundering cycle and the type of predicate crimes that are often linked to money laundering.  The unit will also briefing explain the international organisations involved in combating money laundering.

8.               Investigating Money Laundering.  This subject canvasses the various covert and overt techniques and tools used to investigate money laundering, taking into consideration the investigative tools available in Nigeria.  The importance of circumstantial evidence will highlighted and the types of evidence that have been used to secure convictions for money laundering.  A group discussion on the use of circumstantial evidence in Nigerian money laundering cases will follow.

9.               Money Laundering & Financial Institutions. Financial institutions are defined and explained in this unit together with the common techniques used to move funds through them.  The unit will canvas structuring and smurfing techniques, threshold transactions and various financial instruments namely telegraphic transfers, bank drafts, debit and credit cards and loan arrangements to launder money.  The use of formal money remitters, including mobile phone remittance systems, to launder illegal money will also be highlighted.

10.           Moving Value Using Commodities. The unit will explain that not all illegal money is moved using currency.  Brief examples will be provided on how illegal funds are moved or concealed in valuable assets or commodities. The operation of trade based laundering schemes will be demonstrated and discussed.

11.           Nominees and Beneficial Owners. This subject explains the meaning of a nominee and beneficial owner and outlines how they are used in money laundering schemes and asset protection/concealment schemes frequently encountered in proceeds of crime and money laundering investigations.

12.           Prosecuting Money Laundering. During this session, the training coordinator will facilitate discussion amongst participants on issues relating to the prosecution of money laundering in Nigeria including legislation, the Courts understanding of money laundering, standard of prosecution briefs of evidence, and any areas for improvement in processes and the law.

13.           Quality Assurance Review.  A quality assurance review will be conducted during the course to assess the acquisition of knowledge by participants.  Part 1 will involve an assessment of knowledge currently held by participants.  While Part 2 will assess the increase in knowledge gained by participants during the workshop.

In the photo Chris Douglas (Consultant to the UNODC and owner of Malkara Consulting) meets with Justice Olayinka Faji (centre) a Judge of the Federal High Court of Nigeria and Mr Joseph Sunday (right), Director Prosecutions and Legal Services, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency of Nigeria.