The Independent Corrupt and Other Related Offences Commission has said it has commenced an investigation into the ownership of the scores of abandoned housing estates in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The anti-graft agency explained that the probe would identify the property that are being funded with illicit financial flows.
Disclosing this at a capacity building workshop for investigators, prosecutors and tax inspectors on investigating or prosecuting illicit financial flows, which was organised by the ICPC in Abuja on Monday, the Director, Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management, ICPC, Kayode Adedayo, noted that the investigation was in line with the mandate of the commission to curb corruption.
According to him, the nation needed a coordinated and concerted approach to fighting illicit financial flows, stressing that the law enforcement agency required continuous investment in capacity building to trace and follow the money.
While noting the need for the implementation and investigation of breaches of the beneficial ownership rule, Adedayo stated that data availability and intelligence sharing were imperative.
He stated, “ICPC, in accordance with its mandate to curb corruption, is presently investigating a myriad of cases of the completed but abandoned estates scattered around the Federal Capital Territory to identify those that are instruments of IFFs.
“Furthermore, we are collaborating with the National Assembly to investigate, study and promulgate appropriate legislation to stem the tide of corruption in the real estate sector.”
Speaking on illicit financial flows in the real estate sector, Adedayo hinted that real estate was a key sector to the laundering of IFFs globally because it was laxly regulated, adding that laundering activity was conducted in collaboration with real estate developers and accomplices in the land administration departments.
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