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Thursday, March 23, 2023

ECOWAS’ Report Uncovers ISWAP’s N18bn Terror Financing Network

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A report by the ECOWAS Inter-governmental Action Group on Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA) showed that the terror group, Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP) moved a whooping N18 billion annual revenue through the Nigerian financial system to fund its activities.

GIABA is a task force set up by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The organisation is a specialised institution of ECOWAS responsible for strengthening the capacity of member states towards the prevention and control of money laundering and terrorist financing in the region.

The report estimated ISWAP’s revenues, which it put at $36 million (N18 billion) annually, to be larger than that of Boko Haram. It said much of the revenue came from trading activities and taxation in the Lake Chad region.

The federal government was criticised for its failure to track the movement of funds by the terrorist groups, Boko Haram and ISWAP, through the country’s financial system.

This was despite the trial and conviction of terror sponsors from Nigeria by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, who also made available intelligence on the convicted terror financiers to Nigeria.

The Nigerian government was alleged to have taken no action on the matter.

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