Preventing financial crimes and mitigating the risks associated with virtual assets in the financial markets rely majorly on the robustness of the Information and Communications Technology systems that are available.
This is the assertion of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Dr. Aminu Maida.
Dr. Aminu asserted this at the 11th Anniversary Lecture Series of RealNews Magazine in Lagos. He was represented at the forum by the NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Reuben Muoka.
According to him, financial crimes as “criminal activities that involve transactions, abuse, misuse, deception, or manipulation of financial systems for personal gain, explaining further that the crimes also include a wide range of offenses such as Insider abuse, money laundering, terrorism financing, embezzlement and all kinds of fraud.
“While financial crimes do not only have a huge economic and social impact but can also be linked to violent crimes that lead to loss of lives, they also threaten the integrity, trustworthiness, stability, security, safety, and future of an entity such as a country, enterprise or an individual,” he said.
Maida told the audience comprising representatives of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), among other stakeholders, that the scope of financial crimes has broadened and created further concerns as a result of increasing adoption of digital technologies, the emergence of new technologies, and the often-transnational nature of the crimes.
“As ICT systems get more complex, so do cybercriminal activities, just as criminal actors take advantage of the inherent and emerging flaws identified in the ICT systems exploiting these flaws and causing harm, the same technology has to be positioned to track the movement of illicit movement of funds in and out of the country,” he explained.
Through partnerships with financial institutions data can be filtered to identify these suspicious patterns and nip them in the bud. These technologies provide real-time transaction monitoring, allowing for a proactive approach to crime prevention.
Maida further stated that to combat financial crimes, innovative solutions such as blockchain, instant payments, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics, regulatory technology solutions, and automated procedures are being deployed, adding that the use of technological tools has made it significantly easier to deal with financial crime while building a long term strategy for combating it.