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Rabobank "terrorising" Dutch businesses in Nigeria with money laundering checks


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Full read - Rabobank "terrorising" Dutch businesses in Nigeria with money laundering checks

  1. Dutch entrepreneurs active in Nigeria say that Rabobank is “bullying” and “terrorizing” them with its anti-money laundering policy. The bank floods them with forms, questions, and demands and freezes their accounts at the drop of a hat; four entrepreneurs told the Financieele Dagblad.
  2. Rob Deckers’ company sold and shipped trucks to West Africa, mainly Nigeria, for 34 years. He said he has now had to move his business out of the Netherlands. “I was terrorised for 2.5 years; it was a witch hunt.” Rabobank contacted him every day about his company’s transactions. “I had to fill out all kinds of documents again and again, reduce the share of cash payments to less than 10%, and renovate my database for a lot of money.”
  3. Deckers said he did everything possible to meet Rabbank’s increasingly “unattainable” deadlines and demands. But in October, the bank still informed him that his company posed too significant a risk of money laundering and terrorism financing. “The relationship with Rabo was terminated within a month; everything was blocked.” That brought the activities of his company, which had a turnover of over 60 million euros in its heyday, to a halt, Deckers said.
  4. FD heard similar accounts from three other Dutch entrepreneurs in Nigeria. They said doing business with Rabobank as their bank has become impossible without continuously being accused of suspicious transactions.
  5. A Rabobank spokesperson told the newspaper that it is the bank’s job to map each customer’s profile and check its transactions against this.
    1. “It is clear that large volumes of cash and money flow to and from countries with higher risks in the financial system are more vulnerable to mixing with criminal activities.
    2. These are difficult to map from the Netherlands.”
  6. Rabobank’s strict anti-money laundering policy results from the Netherlands’ Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (Prevention) Act. Banks must investigate their customers and report unusual transactions to the police’s financial intelligence unit. Nigeria was placed on the high-risk countries list last year, and banks closely monitor their customers in these countries.


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