Monday, November 29, 2010

GIABA Report Exposes Private Sector Fraud

NEWA BANJUL THE GAMBIA (MB)- According to a publication made by the inter-governmental Action group for money laundering in West Africa (GIABA), entitled "Report on theaf and terrorist financing in West Africa", has highlighted that the most notorious form of private sector fraud is advance the fraud, which is better known internationally as “419 fraud” after the relevant section of the Nigerian penal code. The report added that, other forms of fraud are frequent too, and ranges from sophisticated stock market frauds to counterfeiting of currency. The report noted that in fact present a particular threat to formal financial sector. Indeed, sources through out the region have noted that both the considerable individual sums commanded and the close proximity of fraudulent operations to the formal financial sector, can be highly disruptive. The report pointed out that, such operations are based worldwide, but many have emanated from Nigeria, or from Nigerian expatriate communities in the rest of the West Africa as well as in the United States, United Kingdom and Hong Kong. According to the report, the tightening of financial regulations and law enforcement in Nigeria has, however, pushed some Nigerian Fraudsters into the relatively relaxes neighbouring jurisdictions in West Africa: sources in Benin and Ghana both Noted the spread of Nigerian fraudsters to their respective countries. The report cited a source in the Ivorian interior ministry also asserted in Cote d’ Ivoire on advance fee fraud charges are Nigerians. The report noted that , it is however a common misconception that it is solely Nigerian gangs who carry out advance fee in fraud. Indeed, many non-Nigerian African fraudsters who have been apprehended in the past either carried a Nigerian passport of falsely claim to be Nigerian. The report said that, the practice is expanding citing a source in a Ghanaian government body, for instance, noted that the activity was spreading amongst Ghanaians and other national lines in the region. Indeed, among the jurisdictions studied in addition be Nigeria, which was ranked third- Ghana was ranked in the top ten cat seventh) of the politic source countries for internet fraud. The report went o fraudsters across west Africa transfer funds from their targets in a variety of ways such transfer services such as money gram and western union, or by classic transfers through the formal banking systems. The report further pointed out that, the most prominent other varieties of private sector fraud in the region include insurance sector fraud, ATM-related identity fraud and shared fraud. The report cited a source in the Nigerian insurance sector, which highlighted the role of insurance salesman in fraud concerning the sale of deceptive insurance policy, the making of fraudulent death claims, and the exaggeration of insurance proceeds. According to report figures indicating the value of fraud in west Africa vary widely, it is clear that in Nigeria, private sector fraud-both advance fee- related forms and other forms-constitutes a significant source of funds. The said that, in 2008, for instance Internet fraud reported to the Internet crime compliant centre (IG3), amounted to US Dollars 264. 6 million, and for those cases in which a location was reported, Nigeria alone accounted for 7.5% assuming that among the cases with unreported locations, Nigeria accounted for a similar proportion to these with reported locations, one may estimate that the value of internet fraud in Nigeria reported locations, one may estimate that the value of internet fraud in Nigeria reported to the IG3in 2008 was US Dollars 19.8 million 7.5% of US Dollars 264.6 million. The report stated that, in fact in 008. The value of reported private sector fraud in Nigeria was 6.7 billion Naira (US Dollars 28.4 million), Nigeria accounts about 7 0% of the economic activity of seven jurisdictions.

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