A lawyer, Mr Femi Aina, has said money laundering has a devastating effect on the economy and should therefore be tackled with all seriousness.

He said contrary to what people might think, money laundering was not a crime without victims.

He explained that when illicit money comes into the system, it pushes up prices of goods out of the reach of the common man, because the money launderers do not mind to pay large sums of money for goods.

Aina gave the explanation in a chat with our correspondent.

He said, “Do not think that money laundering is a victimless crime; because money laundering is about turning dirty money into clean money. And if you allow dirty money to come into your economy, the next thing that will happen is increase in the prices of properties, such that ordinary people will not be able to purchase properties because people are using dirty money to push prices of properties up.

“Because it is drug money, for instance, if they tell them a property is $2.4m, they buy without negotiation, because it is not their hard-earned money. And that is why it is important that we protect our banking system.

“It is common for money launderers to set up charities to cover their tracks and to help government officials to launder money.”

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