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 Friday, 20 December, 2002, 13:57 GMT
Nigeria avoids dirty money sanctions
Lagos street scene
Nigeria's banking sector will continue to be monitored
The world's leading rich and industrialised countries have decided not to impose sanctions against Nigeria after it passed new money laundering laws.

The Nigerian legislation "significantly enhances the scope of Nigeria's 1995 anti money laundering law," the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said.

But it warned that "deficiencies" remained and called for "special attention" to be given to financial transactions in Nigeria.

President Olusegun Obasanjo signed the Economic and Financial Crimes Establishment Bill 2002 into law on 14 December.

Nigeria remains on the OECD's list of non-cooperative countries and territories and will continue to be monitored.

The OECD represents the interests of the 30 most industrialised countries in the world.

Sanctions action

The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an investigative arm of OECD, had threatened to impose financial sanctions if a 15 December deadline was not met.

The US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Howard Jeter, told Radio Nigeria earlier this week that if the law had not met the required standard, the US would have pushed for the sanctions.

The US launched a clampdown on the funding of terrorist groups after 11 September last year.

The OECD also announced it would impose sanctions against Ukraine for failing to enact effective anti-money laundering legislation.

Sanctions against Ukraine are likely to involve greater surveillance, tougher controls on financial dealings by outside agencies with Ukraine and its banks, and warnings to companies seeking to do business in Ukraine.

The status of Nigeria and Ukraine will be reviewed at the next FATF meeting in Paris on 12 February.

See also:

12 Dec 02 | Business
28 Nov 02 | Business
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