What You Should Know About Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML)

What You Should Know About Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering (SCUML)

The establishment of SCUML in 2005 was as a commitment by Nigeria, through the Federal Government constituted Presidential Inter-Agency Committee, to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). 

The objectives were to remedy identified inadequacies of AML/CFT legislation and institutional framework for implementation in Nigeria.

Nigeria’s response, led to the passage of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2004, currently 2011 ML (P) Act, as amended, and legally included Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs) in the anti-money laundering/combatting the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime.

Nigeria being a cash-based economy, vested the supervisory responsibility on the Federal Ministry of Commerce and Industry (now Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment), which established the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML).

The statutory responsibility of SCUML ,as expressed in its vision, is ‘to be a world-class regulatory unit - one that becomes a benchmark in the supervision, monitoring and regulation of the Designated Non Financial Institutions (DNFI) as regards compliance to Nigeria’s Anti Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism AML/CFT regime’.

SCUML currently enforces the ML(P) A 2011,as amended, Terrorism Prevention Act 2013 and other pieces of legislation relevant to AML/CFT on: 

  • Law firms, notaries, and other independent legal practitioners; 
  • Accountants and Accounting firms; 
  • Trust and company services Providers; 
  • Estate surveyors and valuers; 
  • Business outfits dealing in Jewelleries; 
  • car dealers; 
  • dealers in luxury goods; 
  • chartered accountants; 
  • audit firms; tax consultants; 
  • clearing and settlement companies; 
  • Hotels; 
  • Casinos; 
  • Supermarkets; 
  • Dealers in precious stones and metals; 
  • Dealers in Real Estate Developers, Estate Agents and Brokers; 
  • Hospitality industry; 
  • Consultants and consulting companies; 
  • Importers and dealers in cars or any other automobiles; 
  • Dealers in mechanized farming equipment and machineries; 
  • Practitioners of mechanized farming; and 
  • Non-governmental organizations and any other business(es) as may be designated from time to time by the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

In SCUML’s efforts to serve as a structure for curtailing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing in the DNFI sector and sanitizing the sector to create an enabling environment for promotion of commerce and investment, it ensures effective supervision of DNFI’s which includes amongst others, registration, inspection on a risk based-approach, ensuring rendition of statutory reports (cash-based transaction reports, currency transaction reports, suspicious transaction reports), training and manpower development.

All efforts are aimed at adding value to investigations by providing data relating to DNFIs, which will facilitate an enabling environment for the promotion of investment in Nigeria. In this effort to sanitize the business environment, it collaborates with key stakeholders such as Self Regulatory Organisations (SROs), Non Profitable Organisations (NPOs), National Planning Commission (NPC), Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) etc.

SCUML works in collaboration with Economic and Financial Crimes Commission “EFCC” (the coordinating agency for Nigeria’s AML/CFT regime) and the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit “NFIU” (the national repository of financial disclosures of cash-based transaction reports, currency transaction reports and suspicious transaction reports).

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