EFFC: What is Illegal In Cryptocurrency in Nigeria?

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In a recent twitter space held yesterday theme EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) Connect, the country’s crime investigating agency explained what is illegal in cryptocurrency dealings in Nigeria.

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The agency cites the Wikipedia definition of cryptocurrency as its definition of cryptocurrency explaining that cryptocurrency is virtual money without any central control.

When asked about the state of ban and restrictions imposed on cryptocurrency, CSE Daniel Azuka Nwaka. Chief Superintendent Cybercrime Section of EFCC explained that the Central Bank has imposed restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions. 

He explained that the problem is the threshold which the bank has put up for crypto transactions. While the youth have resorted to peer-to-peer crypto transactions, the agency is not against it since there is no stipulated law governing the crypto activity ban or legality. 

The agency explained that they don’t go arresting individuals or youths involved in crypto transactions. He explained that they are only arresting persons using this as a better avenue to perpetrate crimes. 

“More than 80% of fraudulent cases handled by the agency recently are done with cryptocurrency and most of them come from defrauding gullible persons and pensioners through high yield investment schemes,” said Nwaka

Read Also: Understanding the Legal Implications of Nigeria’s SEC Guidelines for Digital Assets Regulation

This tallies with the recent report from chainalysis which shows that more gullible newbies in crypto are victims of crypto scams in 2022. 

On transacting above the bank threshold, the agency explained that if you can prove the legality of your crypto transactions, the agency will for sure not have you arrested for fraud.

Meanwhile, the agency made no mention of the new SEC regulations on digital assets management, explaining that the agency is solely focused on investigating crimes and illegal activities done using cryptocurrency in the country.

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