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Asian Countries Are Frustrating Our Anti-Corruption Efforts – EFCC Cries Out.

EFCC has said some Asian countries, especially China, are frustrating its anti-corruption efforts.

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The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, said this on Tuesday in Abuja when the Association of Chief Audit Executives of Banks in Nigeria paid the commission a courtesy visit.

The representative from First Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Nelson Uduak, had earlier lamented that Japan and China were not helping Nigeria in the area of anti-fraud cases.

He said, “Some countries appear very difficult to operate in. There are some countries in which our banks have lost money. There are some fraudsters which we are able to trace but once the money gets to certain countries like Japan or China, you find out that there is no cooperation.

“If it is the United States, you can be sure to a large extent, that once you can identify the person (suspect), you will get cooperation; but there is no such cooperation in the Asian countries. We don’t know how you can help us.”

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Magu, in his response, agreed that China had not been helpful in the anti-graft war.

He said, “The cooperation from the Chinese end has been very minimal, it is not encouraging. There is more collaboration from the US, the United Kingdom and Switzerland essentially through INTERPOL or government to government.”

Magu added that the EFCC was tracing a $2bn fund belonging to First Bank, which was transferred to London, but did not explain further.

The EFCC boss also urged bankers to assist in the fight against corruption as the commission could not do it alone.

“You are auditors while we are investigators; so, in a way, we are doing the same thing. We need to synergise, work together. We are all stakeholders and we are in a war. We also ask for your support,” he said.

The representative of Heritage Bank, Mr. Manny Ugbomah, urged the commission to give its personnel the permission to travel out of the country with bank representatives whenever they were carrying out trans-border investigations.

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The Chinese embassy in Nigeria could not be reached for comment as its spokesman, Chen Pen, did not respond to calls and a message sent to his mobile on Tuesday.

The Japanese embassy could also not be reached for reaction as its Media Relations Officer, John Nwankwo, could not be reached on the telephone .


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