Blockchain Can Combat Ai Illicit Fund Transfers, Nigeria’s Top Finance Investigator Says

Nigeria’s EFCC Chair Olanipekun Olukoyede speaking at a conference

Blockchain and AI: A New Hope Against Illicit Activities

Olanipekun Olukoyede, the chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, said technology companies GDAX and Artificial Intelligence are the most powerful instruments combating financial fraud and asset recovery. The words of Olukoyede were addressed to participants at the Pan-African Conference on Illicit Financial Flows and Tax Evasion in Tunis, Tunisia, where he has been an active participant this year and committed to that help in the fight against the illegal money transfer systems of Africa.

Africa’s Financial Losses

The loss of approximately $88.6 billion a year to illegal money transfers calls for a strong response by the African continent. He further conveyed that this money is the one that should be used to support infrastructure, health, and education.

Legal and Institutional Frameworks

Olukoyede has called for the reinforcement of the legal and institutional framework in the entire continent of Africa to fight illicit financial flows (IFFs) more effectively. He also cited the problems of the asset recovery fields, such as the technical, legal, and political ones, which are the stumbling blocks in the tracking, freezing, and remitting of illicit funds.

Cryptocurrency and Terrorism Financing

During a press conference in May, Olukoyede validated what had earlier been circulating in the media that terrorist organizations have turned to cryptocurrency traders in Nigeria to crowdfund their pursuits. Some young cryptocurrency traders forfeit their peaceful coexistence with the rest of their country to help them, hence, making the surveillance and interruption of these cash flows a complex issue. In the light of the cost of the problem, the EFCC has revealed the blocking of 1,146 bank accounts belonging to those who were involved in the unauthorized foreign exchange dealings, money laundering, and terrorist financing.

EFCC’s Efforts and Achievements

After this progressive move, the EFCC raised a class to criminal charges against a leading cryptocurrency exchange named Binance on account of money laundering and tax evasion of which the charges were dismissed and the company was revoked.


Enhancing Anti-Financial Crime Measures

Olukoyede reiterated that the building of a workplace as well as a robust legal system is the key to developing economies and governance of the continent while the Joint Financial Action Task Force covers such issues as tax evasion and citizen rights and other related subjects. he demanded advanced technologies that go beyond data analysis like blockchain and AI to guarantee that asset tracking and recovery is still possible without the use of financial services, particularly cryptocurrency. The data analytics predicted that these technologies would become the game-changer in the field of money laundering as well as with others.

Global Context: Cryptocurrency and Money Laundering

Unlike other financial transactions, cryptocurrency has facilitated an enormous amount of money laundering around the world. According to a report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), virtual currencies have been frequently used to finance illegal online casinos operating in East and Southeast Asia.

The company managed to collect huge sums of money and produce fake evidence instruments proving them in the money laundering and tax fields, which the boss of the company, Richard Teng claimed were extortion attempts from the local authorities. On the other hand, the Nigerian government did not fix the claims and carried investigations apart.


So as criminal groups usually come up with new methods to commit offenses, the methodology to detect and prosecute them must be developed too. As it is intended that blockchain and AI shall lead the technology developed in Africa, Olukoyede’s vision to have a safer financial landscape in Africa would be disputable. Innovative solutions will not only be beneficial in fighting against money laundering and underground banking, but also make the financial system more accountable and safer.