US embassy cable - 01ABUJA2606

ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ASSISTANCE TO NIGERIA

Identifier: 01ABUJA2606
Wikileaks: View 01ABUJA2606 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Abuja
Created: 2001-10-12 16:54:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: SNAR EFIN KCRM NI
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L ABUJA 002606 
 
SIPDIS 
 
 
FOR INL A/S BEERS AND AF A/S KANSTEINIER 
FROM AMBASSADOR 
 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/12/2011 
TAGS: SNAR, EFIN, KCRM, NI 
SUBJECT: ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ASSISTANCE TO NIGERIA 
 
REF: A) ABUJA 2568 B) ABUJA 2560 
 
 
 1.(U) Classified by Ambassador Howard F. Jeter for reasons 
1.5 (b) and (d). 
 
 
2.(C)  The September 11 attacks on the U.S. have focused 
added attention on the inadequate money laundering controls 
in Nigeria.  I have made this a top priority in my recent 
meetings with President Obasanjo (ref a), the Vice President 
and several advisors and ministers responsible for security 
and law enforcement issues.  The good news is that all of 
these officials recognize the deficiencies and the attendant 
security threat presented by money laundering by terrorists 
and organized crime groups.  Nigeria is particularly 
vulnerable to money laundering given its economy's enormous 
cash liquidity derived from oil revenues.  The President has 
pledged full cooperation and is moving ahead with both new 
legislation to improve the existing but inadequate money 
laundering law and he is creating a "Financial Crimes 
Commission" that would provide a much needed centralized 
coordinating body for GON-wide anti-money laundering efforts 
and a "financial intelligence unit" as call for by the FATF. 
 
 
3.(C) I ask that Nigeria be given priority in dispatching USG 
money laundering experts to provide assistance to foreign 
governments.  As you know, Nigeria has been declared a 
"non-cooperating country or territory (NCCT)" by the FATF -- 
a step predating September 11.  INL has made clear its 
commitment to assisting the GON in improving money laundering 
controls by the obligations of INC funds ($125,000) for this 
purposed in the FY2000 Letter of Agreement -- also predating 
the current crisis. 
 
 
4.(C) I understand that INL is probably beseiged with similar 
requests for assistance.  Yet, we risk losing a rare window 
of opportunity if we do not respond with assistance within 
the next two to three months.  The Ministry of Justice is 
already reviewing the existing money laundering law and 
beginning to draft revisions.  It is also drawing up the 
design for the Financial Crimes Commission (FCC).  If we 
could provide TDY money laundering advisors to Nigeria in the 
near-term, we would stand to make a lasting impact on the 
GON's money laundering control regime.  If we wait longer, we 
could miss the current momentum with the GON, for which we 
are partly responsible.  The law will have been amended and 
the FCC created without our input. 
 
 
5.(U) Please let me know if we can extend assistance to the 
GON on this important law enforcement and security front in 
the immediate future. 
 
 
6.(U) On a separate issue, we are proposing mid-November as 
the time frame for the Washington meeting of the Bilateral 
Law Enforcement Committee.  I am seeing the Attorney General 
(who would lead the GON delegation) on October 16 and I would 
like to propose this time frame for his consideration. 
Please let me know if these dates suit your schedule.  We 
plan to send you a meaningful agenda for the Committee 
meeting shortly. 
Jeter 

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