NFIU Exposes IPOB Cells In 22 Countries, Unveils Global Funding Channels For Terrorism

The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has uncovered a network of 27 cells linked to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) across 22 countries worldwide, including the United States and the United Kingdom. 

According to the NFIU, the US and the UK host the highest number of IPOB cells per country, with seven and six operational cells respectively.

Details of this revelation emerged in a newsletter highlighting the financing of terror activities in Nigeria by IPOB, bandits, and other extremist groups through global crowdfunding and sports betting platforms.

 IPOB was proscribed as a terrorist organization by the Nigerian government in 2017, with its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, currently facing terrorism charges.

The NFIU’s “Counter Terrorism Financial Newsletter” identified 54 individuals globally associated with IPOB, exposing the group’s financial operations spanning multiple countries. 

The investigation revealed numerous bank accounts used by IPOB for receiving funds, mainly through crowdfunding by Nigerians abroad, with disbursements for various operations including media and broadcasting companies.

The NFIU disclosed suspicious transactions involving a Nigerian customer receiving ransom money through a betting platform and a terrorist attempting to evade detection through structured cash withdrawals and purchases of flight tickets to high-risk areas. 

These transactions, along with others for luxury goods and escort services, raised red flags for potential links to terrorism.

Urging law enforcement agencies to intensify investigations, the NFIU highlighted key areas for scrutiny, including unauthorized tax collection, cash deposits in bank accounts, money transfers to high-risk countries, and financial transfers to charities associated with terrorism.

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