The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has placed three top-rate private universities and 21 secondary schools across the country under surveillance over alleged money laundering activities.
Our correspondent gathered that while two of the universities under watch are based in the south, the third institution is located in the North-Eastern part of the country.
The affected secondary schools, according to the Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, had been discovered to be located mainly in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
“They are concentrated in Lagos and very soon, we would visit them,” he told our correspondent.
Magu, in a telephone chat with our correspondent on Wednesday, further disclosed, “It would shock you to know that most of the privately owned secondary schools and universities are now safe-way for some crooks and corrupt politicians in the country to launder their stolen monies. But what they forget is that, we are aware of their activities, very soon we would get at them.”
The Independent and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has also alluded to this findings and we are ashamed of the private Schools
The anti-graft agency boss added that some expatriates in the country, whose children were also attending private schools, had now resorted to using such school owners to launder illegal money. “They would collaborate with the school owners and push the money out in the name of exchange programmes and students’ visits, whereas they are actually taking away stolen money,” he said.
Magu said before now, Bureau D’ Change operators were partners in this crime with the launderers, “ but because we have been able to close-in on the Bureau D’ Change, so the crooks and politicians and other dubious persons have now changed tactics; they are using private schools to execute their illicit trade.”
He specifically stated that top private schools were coming under the scrutiny of the anti-corruption agency for wittingly accepting laundered money from wealthy foreign criminals and corrupt politicians.
The anti-graft agency boss alleged that five private schools had allegedly received payments ranging from $100,000 to $150,000.
He said the international money- laundering operation scrutiny had revealed in an investigation that illegal funds had been flowing out of the country through Schools.
“The Independent and the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has also alluded to this findings and we are ashamed of the private Schools,” Magu Stated