By Unini Chioma 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused banks of colluding with Point-of-Sale(POS) operators to limit cash availability at Automated Teller Machines(ATM).

According to the EFCC, it amounts to financial illegality for POS operators to possess huge cash from banks at the expense of ATMs.

The anti-graft agency disclosed this via its official X page on Saturday, May 11, 2024.

The Acting Zonal Director of the Ibadan Zonal Command of the EFCC, ACE I Hauwa Garba Ringim, gave the caution during a stakeholders’ meeting with Compliance Officers of Banks in Oyo State on Tuesday.

He stated that illegal dealings and trading in naira with the Point-of-sale (POS) operators has to stop.

The anti-graft agency called for more cash at every bank’s ATMs, faulting commercial banks’ alleged collusion with POS operators, in respect of cash availability.

He said, “What we notice and see around lately is that Nigerians can only withdraw a small amount of their money with the banks in Automated Teller Machine (ATMs) but POS operators evidently go around with huge amounts of money gotten from the banks. This is not fair to Nigerians and we must fight it head-on”.

Furthermore, Ringim warned banks’ compliance officers against revealing its financial probes to their customers.

He was of the view that its investigation would be jeopardized if suspects become aware of it.

Explaining the possibility of jeopardizing EFCC’s probe, Ringim said when vital financial documents are withheld in favor of a client, it delays the anti-graft agency’s effort to access relevant exhibits needed to prosecute cases in court.

Recall that court matters are won or lost depending on the evidence or exhibits placed before a competent court, by the parties.

Ringim sought the continual support of Compliance Officers of financial institutions, adding “they remain relevant stakeholders in the fight against economic and financial crimes”.

EFCC stated, “According to him, the EFCC is aware of the fact that Compliance Officers give information to their clients regarding ‘letters of investigation activities’ written to the banks from the EFCC, adding that, the act usually jeopardizes the investigation exercise of financial crimes and delay corruption cases from being filed before the law court.

“He decried the unhealthy support fraudsters receive from the banking sector in Nigeria, stressing that it is posing considerable challenges and concerns to the Commission.

“The EFCC’s boss also urged them to always respond to letters received from the Commission with certified true copies including instruments of transactions of beneficiaries or sources, as this will expedite processes of investigation to a logical conclusion.”

On their part, the EFCC quoted the Compliance Officers “stressing that they are committed to new dynamics on how the collaborative efforts between the Commission and the banks would be effective.”

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