How Criminals Transfer Money Without Being Caught


Rarzack Olaegbe

“They are transferring money through NIP. Or Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Instant Payment platform. Between January and April 2022, the platform operator said more than N114.8 trillion have passed through the pipe”

Don’t do it. Because you are not a criminal. This information is for educational purposes.  So, this is how criminals do it without being caught. But if you get involved you will be caught. That is an assurance. The same goes for the criminals.

The following is how the criminals move illegal, multibillion-dollar, cash-only business around. Criminals in this instance include drug lords, terrorist financiers and others. They transfer billions of dollars each year. Yet, they don’t get caught. How do they do it?

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Research shows that money laundering is a tough business. Sometimes it is harder than making money. The targets are being monitored by the law enforcements like the Police, EFCC, the FBI and FinCEN. That is why the criminals across the globe employ creative methods for transferring cash around.

Transferring illegal cash usually follows many stages. Three will be discussed here.  The criminals can make placement, layering and integration. When illegal cash is generated, it is placed in the financial system. It is kept in circulation. After that the money is layered within the financial system.

What does this mean? The cash is broken up. It is broken down. It moves around. Sufficiently. To obscure the audit trail. This phase helps to clean the dirty money. Effectively. Then the “clean” money goes back to its rightful owner. It is integrated. It is difficult. But the criminals do it regularly. It is done in a deft way to avoid financial regulations.

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On The One Hand

Don’t go through the above route. It is illegal. It is stressful. It destroys the economy. And you will be caught. Repeat. You will be caught. You will be penalised. So, walk the narrow path. Those who did have embraced the online channels. They are transferring money through NIP. Or Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement Instant Payment platform. Between January and April 2022, the platform operator said more than N114.8 trillion have passed through the pipe.

The platform is easy. It is efficient. More customers have embraced the channel. It delivers the money when and whenever it is needed. Instantly. Report from NIBSS shows that there is a 44% increase in e-payments in Nigeria. In 2021, the figure was N79.5 trillion during the same period. Data from NIBSS shows that the NIP volume did rise to 1.4 billion in January through April.

The NIP is account-number-based. It is online. It is a real-time inter-bank payment software developed in the year 2011 by Nigerians. It is the Nigerian financial industry’s preferred funds transfer platform that guarantees instant value to the beneficiary.

All the banks use the platform for its efficiency and effectiveness. It works through various channels. Internet banking. Bank branch. Kiosks. Mobile apps. Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), Point of sales. ATM. It works.

On The Other Hand

Within the software industry, Nigeria is not the leading country. It is China. China is in the top five emerging nations. It had market revenues of $66.8 billion in 2020. India had $18.5 billion. Brazil had $11.2 billion. Research shows that China will lead the software industry in the top five emerging nations with a value of $94.4 billion in 2025. India and Brazil will follow with expected values of $24.7 and $15.3 billion respectively. What was the size of the software market in Nigeria by value in 2020? NOTAP knows.

Research indicates that the top five emerging countries comprise the key emerging economies in the world. Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa. These countries contributed $105.4 billion to the global software industry in 2020 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 1.1% between 2007 and 2011. The top five emerging countries are expected to reach a value of $147.0 billion in 2025 with a CAGR of 6.9% over the 2020-25 period.

On This Side

What are the top five software in Nigeria?

Top five software in which sector? Is it payment? Banking, loans, human resources, health or logistics? Bigmummy, please, be specific.

So, do we have sector-specific software?

Yes, Bigmummy. There is no one-size-fits-all software. If you must know, there are so many world class solutions developed by Nigerians. In fact, Nigerian developers have “helped” the imported software to rewrite codes in order to “fit it” into the local environment.

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If that is the case, why do we keep importing software?

Bigmummy, it is multiplex. It is a complex relationship. We have developed this relationship with the foreign software developers. If it is imported, it will be top-notch. If it is from a certain country of origin, it has more value. That is what we believe. In that process, we have thrown away the bathwater with the baby.

But we have Nigerian firms that service foreign firms and those in the diaspora.

Yes, we do.  And they are not criminals!

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