Of late, the global coalition of anti-crime organisations has beamed its searchlight on some Nigerian individuals and corporates after series of discrete scrutiny of some transnational financial transactions.
Although, in May 2016, officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, raided the Lagos and Abuja offices of Sahara Energy carting away several computers and documentary evidence of financial deals, according to Pointblanknews.com sources at the anti-graft agency.
Sahara Energy’s Financial documents from 2015 to 2019 in our possession corroborated the findings of the global investigators.
In June 2016, the account got busier with more transfers. June 1, 2016 alone witnessed a least nine wire transactions including $1,114,053,133.97; $83,666,710.23; $61,777,137.38; $83,666,710.23; another $1,114,053,133.97; and another $83,666,710.23 among others.
BNP Paribas which was used by Sahara Energy to move the humongous funds has had a history of financial crimes. In 2017, the bank had to pay various fines in the US for breaches.
In 2017, French bank watchdog ACPR said it had fined BNP Paribas 10 million euros ($11.27 million) for inadequate anti-money laundering controls.
The penalty followed a 2015 inspection of the bank which revealed a number of shortcomings in its provisions for preventing money laundering and financing of terrorism, ACPR said in a statement.
In 2020, The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has fined BNP Paribas’ Chinese unit 2.7 million yuan ($378,000) for failing to verify client identities and a failure to report large and suspicious transactions.
In 2014, BNP Paribas pleaded guilty Monday to concealing billions of dollars in transactions for clients in Sudan, Iran, and Cuba in violation of U.S. sanctions and agreed to pay $8.9 billion in fines, according to the Justice Department.