Tackling illicit financial flows through technology

There is no gainsaying the fact that illicit financial flows in Nigeria and Africa have become a deep-rooted issue characterised by a complex network of activities. It stemmed from corruption and tax evasion to money laundering and illegal trade. These flows are diverse and pervasive, permeating different sectors of the Nigerian economy. Arguably, there have been calls for the deployment of technology to tackle this menace. ADEYEMI ADEPETUN, reports.  PHOTO: freepik.com[/caption]strong>IFFs took $1 trillion off Nigeria, others in 50 years
Speaking on ‘The Threats of Illicit Funds Flow to the African Countries,’ Harris urged African leaders to step up efforts in the fight against IFF in the region.

He stated that IFFs are a systemic problem requiring a systemic solution and as such, African leaders cannot afford to relax in the fight against a cankerworm that threatens their sustainable development. He noted that IFFs as money illegally earned, transferred or used in violation of laws in their origin, or during their movement or use, and are therefore considered illicit.Harris stressed that IFFs are a threat to sustainable development and one of the greatest contemporary challenges facing the international community and in particular, Africa. It has been argued that illegal funds and money laundering have been dramatically influenced by the development of information and communications networks. Digital technologies offer countless opportunities to facilitate each traditional stage of illegal money transfer on their way to being distanced from illegal sources—placement, layering, and integration.Maida, represented by the Director, Public Affairs, Reuben Mouka, believed that robust ICT systems remained critical for preventing/investigating financial crimes or mitigating the risks associated with virtual assets in financial markets, saying that these systems facilitate compliance with established standards or regulations and also provide a platform that allows the monitoring, tracing, and analysing of digital transactions in real-time.ICT plays a critical role in combating financial crimes by enabling real-time surveillance, regulatory compliance, and secure data processing. It provides advanced analytics, AI, and machine learning to law enforcement organizations for better crime detection. Furthermore, hard technologies such as CCTV cameras and security systems supplement physical security measures.

Continued investment in ICT solutions, as well as a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder strategy, combining technology specialists, legal professionals, and legislators, are critical in keeping up with emerging criminal methods. Public education and understanding of Internet safety are also important in limiting the risks linked with the spread of criminality via technology.