Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act
No 7 of 2003
Laws of the Federation of Nigeria
Arrangement of Sections
Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act
No 7 of 2003
Laws of the Federation of Nigeria
by the National Assembly of the Federal Republic of Nigeria-
Prohibition Of Money Laundering
(1) No person or body corporate shall make
or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding-
A transfer to or from a foreign country of funds or securities of a sum
exceeding $10,000 or its
equivalent shall be reported to the Central Bank of Nigeria (in this
Act referred to as "the Central Bank").
A person whose usual business is to undertake over-the-counter exchange
transactions or a financial institution shall-
before the commencement of
business, submit to the Central Bank a declaration
(2) A register kept under
subsection (1) (b) of this section be preserved for at
(1) A financial institution shall
verify its customer's identity and address before opening an account for,
issuing a passbook to , entering
into a fiduciary transaction with, renting.. safe deposit box to or
establishing any business relationship with the customer.
individual shall be required to provide proof of his-
(3) A body
corporate shall be required to provide proof of its identity by , presenting
its certificate of incorporation and other valid official documents attesting
i the existence of the body corporate.
(4) The manager,
employee or assignee delegated by a body corporate to open or operate. an
account shall be required to produce not only the documents specified 1
in subsection (2) of this section, but also proof
of the power of attorney granted to him i in that behalf.
(5) A casual customer
shall be identified in the same way as in subsection (2)0. this section for
any transaction involving a sum exceeding 08$5,000 or its equivalent or
for any number
of transactions whose
sum total exceed N500,000.00
if the total amount is known at the commencement of the transaction or as soon
as it is known to exceed the sum ofUS$5,000 or its equivalent.
a financial institution :reasonably suspects that the amount involved in a:
transaction is the proceeds of a crime or an illegal act, it shall require
identification of the customer notwithstanding that the amount involved
in the transaction is less than US$5,00O or its equivalent.
(7) If it appears that
a customer may not be acting on his own account, the financial institution
shall seek from the customer by all reasonable means, information as to the
true identity of the principal.
6. (1) When a financial institution is
requested to carry out a transaction, whether or not it relates .to the
laundering of the proceeds of a
crime or an act, the financial institution shall seek information from the
customer as to the origin and the destination of the funds, the
aim of the 'transaction and the identity of the beneficiary.
(3) A financial institution winch fails to comply with the provisions of subsections (2) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of NI,000,000 for: each day during which offence continues.
7. A financial institution shall preserve and keep at the disposal of the authorities specified in section 8 of this act
The records referred to the section 7 of this Act shall be communicated only
to the Central Bank, the Nl;1tional Drug Law Enforcement
Agency (in this Act referred to as the Agency") judicial
authorities, customs officers and such other persons as the Central Bank
from time to time, by order published in the Gazette, specify.
9. (I) Every financial institution shall develop programs to combat the laundering of the proceeds of a crime or other illega1 act, and these shall include-
Notwithstanding the provisions of this Act. the Governor of the Central Bank
shall impose a penalty of not less than I million Naira or the suspension of
any license issued on a financial institution for failure to comply with the
provisions of , subsection (I) of this section.
(I) Notwithstanding anything to the
contrary in any other law or enactment, a financial institution or Casino
shall report to the Agency in
writing, within 7 days any single transaction, lodgment or transfer of funds
in excess of
(2) A person, other than a financial institution, may voluntarily give information on any transaction, lodgment or transfer of funds in excess of-
The Agency shall acknowledge receipt of any disclosure, report or information
received under this section and may demand such additional information as it
may deem necessary.
The acknowledgement of receipt shall be sent to the financial institution
within the time allowed for the transaction to be undertaken and it may be
accompanied by a notice deferring the transaction for a period not exceeding
the acknowledgment of receipt is not accompanied by a stop notice, or if, when
the stop notice expires, the order specified in subsection (6) of this section
to block the transaction has not reached the financial institution, the
financial institution may carry out the transaction.
it is not possible to ascertain the origin of the funds within the period of
stoppage of the transaction, the Federal High Court may, at the request of the
Agency, or other person or authority duly authorized in that behalf, order
that the funds, accounts or securities referred to in the report be blocked.
An order made by the Federal High Court under subsection (6) of this section
shall be enforced forthwith.
Where funds are blocked under section 10(6) of this Act and there is evidence
of conspiracy with owner of the funds, the financial institution shall not be
relieved of liability under this Act and criminal proceedings for all offences
arising there from, may be brought against its director and employees involved
in the conspiracy.
(1) The Agency, pursuant to a Federal High
Court Order obtained on a sworn declaration made by the Chairman of the Agency
justifying the request, may in order to identify and locate narcotic drugs and
psychotropic substances, proceeds, property, objects or other things related
to the Agency of an offence under this A -:t or the Economic and Financial
Crimes Commission Act 2002 or any other Act or law-
(2) Banking secrecy shall not be invoked as a
ground for objecting to the measures set out in subsection (1) of this section
refusing to be witness to facts likely to constitute an offence under this Act or the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency.
(3) Notwithstanding the powers conferred
on the Agency under subsection (1) of this section, the Agency and any other
regulatory authority shall place any other account relating to such financial
transactions specified in this Act under surveillance.
13. The Agency shall, in consultation with the Central Bank and the Corporate Affairs Commission determine the flow of transactions and the identities of beneficiaries under this Act, including the beneficiaries of individual accounts and of corporate accounts.
Any person who--
(1) Without prejudice to the
penalties provided for illicit traffic in narcotic drugs or psychotropic
substances, the laundering of drug money or the proceeds of a crime or illegal
act, any person who-
(b) destroys or removes a register
or record required to be kept under this act; or
(c) carries out or attempt under a
false identity to carry out any of the transactions specified in sections 1 to
5 of this Act; or
(d) make or accepts cash payments
exceeding the amount authorized under to be reported under this Act; or
(e) fails to report an
international transfer of funds or securities required to be reported
under this Act; or
(f) being a director or an employee
of a bureau de change, casino or other financial institution,
contravenes the provisions of section 2, 3, 4, 5 or 10 of this Act; or
an offence under this section.
person who commits an offence under subsection (1) of this section is liable
in the case of an offence under paragraphs (a) to (c) of subsection (1) to
imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years or more than 3 y;
in the case of an offence under paragraphs (d) to (f), where the offender-
is an individual to a fine of not less than N250,000 or more than 1
million Naira or term of imprisonment of not less than 2 years or more
than 3 years or to both fine and imprisonment; or
is a financial institution or any other body corporate to a fine of not less
than N250,000 or more than N1,000,000.00 (1 million Naira)
A person found guilty of an offence under this section may also be banned
indefinitely or for a period of 5 years from exercising the profession, which
provided the opportunity for the offence to be committed.
A person found guilty of an offence under paragraph (d), (e) or (f) of
subsection (1) of this section shall not be affected but the provisions of
this section 18, 19,20 and 25 of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency
When, as a result of a serious oversight or a flaw in the internal control
procedures, a financial institution or person designated in section 10 of this
Act, fails to meet any of the obligations imposed on him or it by this Act,
the disciplinary authority responsible for the financial institution, or the
person's professional body may, in addition to any penalty in this Act take
such disciplinary action against the financial institution or person as is
conformity with its professional and administrative regulation.
16. Any person who-
(a) whether by concealment,
removal from jurisdiction, transfer to nominees or otherwise retains the
proceeds of crime or an
illegal act on behalf of another person knowing or suspecting other person to
be engaged in a criminal conduct, or has benefited from a criminal conduct; or
(b) knowing that any property
either in whole or in part directly or indirectly represents another person's
proceeds of a criminal conduct, acquires or uses that property or has
possession of it, commits an offence under this Act and is liable on
conviction to imprisonment from a term of not less than 5 years or to a fine
equivalent to 5 times the value of the proceeds of the criminal conducts or to
both such imprisonment and fine.
17. A person who-
conspires with, aids, or abets
counsels any other person to commit an offence; or
attempts to commit or is an
accessory to an actor offence, or
incites, procures or induces any
other person by any mean whatsoever to commit an offence, under this Act, commits an
offence and is liable on conviction to the same punishment as is prescribed
for that offence under this Act.
(1) Where an offence under this Act
which has been committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed
on the instigation or with the connivance of or attributable to any neglect on
the part of a director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of the
body corporate, or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, he, as
well as the body corporate, where practicable, shall be deemed to be guilty of
that offence" and shall be liable to be proceeded against and punished
(2) Where i1 body corporate is convicted of an offence under this Act, the court may order that the body corporate shall thereupon and without any further assurances, but for such order, be wound up and all its assets and properties forfeited to the Federal Government.
The Federal High Court shall have jurisdiction to try offences under this Act.
The Federal High Court shall have power to impose the penalties provided under
In any trial for an offence under this Act, the fact that an accused per on is
in possession of pecuniary resources or property for which he cannot
satisfactory account and which is disproportionate to his known sources of
income, or that he had at or about the time of the alleged offence obtained an
accretion to his pecuniary resources or property for which he cannot
satisfactorily account, may be proved and may be
taken into consideration by the Federal High Court as corroborating the testimony of any witness in such trial.
20. For the purposes of this
Act, the Director of Investigations or an officer of the Agency duly
authorized in that behalf may demand, obtain and inspect the books and records
of a financial institution to confirm compliance with the provisions of this
21. A person who willfully
obstructs the Agency or any authorized officer in the exercise of the power
conferred on the Agency by this Act commits an offence and is liable on
in the case of an individual, to
imprisonment for a term of not less than 2 years or not exceeding 3 years;
the case of a financial institution or other body corporate, to a fine of 1
22. Section 13 of the National
Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act is repealed.
23. The Money Laundering Act
1995 is hereby consequentially repealed.
24. The repeal of the Act specified in section (23) of this Act shall not affect anything done or purported to be done W1der or pursuant to the Act.
In this Act
"Agency" means the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency;
"Central Bank" means the Central Bank of Nigeria ;
(a) acceptance of deposits and
other repayable funds from the public;
(c) financial leasing ;
(d) money transmission services;
(e) issuing and managing means of
payment (for example, credit and debit cards, cheques, traveler’s cheques
and bankers' drafts, etc.) ;
financial guarantees acknowledgements
(g) trading for account of
customers (spot, forward, swaps, futures, option,
money market instruments (cheques, bills, CDs
(ii) foreign exchange;
(iii) exchange, interest rate index
(iv) transferable securities;
commodity futures trading;
participation in capital market activities and the provisions of financial
services related to such issues;
and collective portfolio management;
safekeeping and administration of
cash or liquid securities on behalf of clients;
insurance and all other insurance related matters;
"financial institution" includes any individual, body, association or group of persons, whether corporate or unincorporated which carries on the business of investment and securities, a discount house, finance company and money brokerage whose principal object includes factoring project financing equipment leasing, debt administration, fund management, private ledger services, investment management, local purchase order financing, export finance, project consultancy, financial consultance, pension fund management, insurance institutions, debt factorization and conversion firms, dealer, clearing and settlement companies, legal practitioners, hotels, casinos, bureau de change, supermarkets and such other businesses as the Central Bank or appropriate regulatory authorities may, from time to time, designate;
the counter exchange transaction" includes a financial investments and
securities transaction processed through a bank without reference to a bank
account or one that is normally carried out otherwise than in organised
exchange market and without any
26. This Act may be cited as the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2003.
I certify that this Bill has been carefully compared by me with the decision reached by the National Assembly and found by me to be true and correct decision of the Houses and is in accordance with the provisions of the Acts Authentication Act Cap.4, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990.
Ibrahim Salim. CON
Clerk to the National Assembly
Chief Olusegun Obasabjo. GCFR
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
24th day of May 2003
This Act was published in
Federal Republic of Nigeria
No. 46 Lagos - 22nd July, 2003 Vol. 90
The following is published as Supplement to this Gazette
Printed and Published by The Federal Government Press, Lagos,