Financial Crimes: EFCC To Strengthen Cooperation With Italy
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu on Monday, June 24, 2019 said there was need to strengthen the Commission’s cooperation with relevant Italian authorities in the fight against corruption and cybercrime.
Magu made this disclosure while receiving the Italian Ambassador to Nigeria, Stefano Pontesillio, who was on a courtesy visit to him at the EFCC Headquarters, Abuja.
While assuring the Italian authorities of the readiness of the EFCC for collaboration, the EFCC boss noted that “cybercrime is a borderless crime, so there is the need to collaborate and work with everybody.”
He hoped that the collaboration will lead to cooperation in the areas of tracking illicit financial flows and return of stolen Nigerian assets.
Magu also disclosed that he expected increased capacity building interventions from Italy as the Commission had enjoyed in the past from the country.
He further observed that the collaboration was more in the interest of Nigeria, adding that Nigeria stood to learn a lot in policing, trainings and capacity building, given Italy’s vast experience in the war against organised crime.
In the spirit of the collaboration, an EFCC desk officer was slated to resume in Italian Embassy offices in Abuja and Lagos, who will be liaisons between the Commission and the Italian Embassy for enhancement of information sharing.
The Italian Ambassador, who promised EFCC of Italian government’s support, said he had earlier recommended an increased cooperation between Nigeria and Italy in terms of fight against financial crimes, money laundering and repatriation of Nigeria’s stolen wealth when he visited President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We gave the president the assurance to increase our cooperation because unfortunately over the past few years, we have had influx of illegal capital, moving from Italy back to Nigeria and the other way round due to internet scam and various illegal activities.”
Pontesillii further noted that the increased cooperation was in the mutual interest of both Nigeria and Italy.
“We have given our assurances to the President and we are here in EFCC to put it to practice. We are hoping to deepen our cooperation through training which we have been offering for many years now and we intend to increase it”.
“We want to see how we can help the EFCC improve its working condition, its capacity, its training and also to pass the experience which we have gained for so many years as we fought mafia, terrorism. We are ready to share as we are in this common fight together.”