The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Saturday, 20 March, 2021 called on land agents to desist from acting as middlemen in the sale or renting of properties by fraudsters.
Sadiq Abubakar, Head, Economic Governance Section of the Kaduna Zonal Office issued the warning while speaking at a Security Summit organized by the Kaduna Chapter of the National Union of Land and Property Agents Association of Nigeria in Kaduna.
Sadiq, who represented the Zonal Head, Sanusi Abdullahi, advised land vendors to embrace the practice of carrying out Know-your-customer, KYC, to protect themselves from the unsavoury consequences of dealing with criminally minded persons.
According to him, ignorance of the law is never an excuse, adding that investigations have established an increase in property-related fraud at the Millennium City and Bye Pass axis of Kaduna metropolis. He called on the Association to always liaise with the relevant agencies to authenticate the genuineness or otherwise of any property before transacting business on them.
He reminded members of the association of their obligations under the Money Laundering Act. “I hope you know that it is unlawful for any of you to collect any cash payment or percentage in cash of five million naira as an individual or ten million Naira in the case of a company. Anyone caught in this act will be liable to a jail term of five years”, he said.
Responding the Chairman of the Association, Shafi’u Salisu Abubakar thanked the EFCC for honoring their invitation as well as satisfying their thirst for knowledge on how to carryout their businesses lawfully, as most of them have not had any opportunity to be educated by the EFCC.
He also expressed optimism that, with the knowledge gained from this sensitization, they are better positioned to face the security and operational challenges experienced by members in their daily dealing with customers.