Breaking : CBN slams N6 billion fine on 4 banks for assisting MTN in fund repartriation
The apex bank which also directed MTN to refund $8 billion to its coffers, accused the affected banks of “flagrant violation of extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
“The CBN has therefore asked the management of the banks and MTN Nigeria Communications Limited to immediately refund the sum of $8.134 billion illegally repatriated by the company to the coffers of the Central Bank of Nigeria”, he said.
Okorafor said the banks’ actions, were in contrast with the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1995 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Foreign Exchange Manual of 2006.
He further explained that the sactions were considered after a thorough investigation of allegations of remittance of foreign exchange with irregular Certificates of Capital Importation (CCIs) issued on behalf of some offshore investors of MTN.
The investigationd, he said were conducted by CBN in March 2018 after a petition was received to that effect.
Okorafor further explained that the investigations revealed that the sum of $3.448 billion was repatriated by Standard Chartered Bank on the basis of the illegally issued CCIs.
“The sums of $2.632 billion, $1.766 billion and $348.914 million were repatriated by Stanbic, Citibank Nigeria and Diamond Bank Plc, respectively, between 2007 and 2015.”
He also said CBN investigations revealed that on account of illegal conversion of MTN shareholders’ loan to preference shares (interest free loan) of $399.594 million, the sum of $8.134 billion was illegally repatriated by the company.
CBN advised all banks and multinational companies in Nigeria to adhere strictly to the provisions of all extant laws and regulations of monetary policies saying it will not hesitate to sanction any defaulters.