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Terrorists exploiting young cryptocurrency traders in Nigeria, EFCC chairman reveals

The Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has disclosed that terrorists are exploiting young cryptocurrency traders in Nigeria to fund their activities. 

Speaking at an event organized by civil society organizations in Abuja, Olukoyede highlighted the unwitting involvement of some cryptocurrency traders in terrorism financing.

During the “Multi-stakeholders’ National Dialogue on Preventing Terrorism Financing and Violent Extremism,” held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotels, Abuja, Olukoyede explained that some individuals who received money for cryptocurrency trading were unaware that their financiers were sponsoring terrorism.

He noted that several of the 1,146 bank accounts recently frozen by the EFCC were conduits for terrorism funding.

“Some of you are aware of our activities in the area of investigating virtual currency trading and the like of cryptocurrencies. 

“They are potential platforms to fund terrorism. A lot of us don’t understand that. Some of our discoveries during the investigation of some of these platforms were mind-boggling,” Olukoyede said.

The EFCC chairman mentioned Binance among the platforms under scrutiny, stating, “We thought Binance was a major one. Yes, it was. We are prosecuting them. But there are other platforms we have discovered. 

“They used some of these young men. Some of them don’t know that the people who gave them money to trade are people who fund terrorism.”

Olukoyede emphasized the need for technological advancements in tracking funds used for terrorism. 

He recounted a conversation with an assistant director at the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), who informed him about the ability to track every printed dollar worldwide using advanced systems.

“It is important for us to adopt the use of technology. I was comparing notes with an assistant director in the FBI — a friend of mine

“He said: ‘My brother, from our systems in the US, we can track every printed dollar anywhere in the world’,” Olukoyede added.

The EFCC chairman further stressed that Nigeria must reach a stage where it can deploy technology to track naira notes used for terrorism funding effectively.

The article was originally published on Politics Nigeria.

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