Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Fagbemi, Warns Of Increasing Fraud Due To Artificial Intelligence And Other Technologies

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Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, has raised concerns about the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and generative technologies for fraudulent activities in the country. He emphasized that these emerging technologies pose a significant threat not only to Nigeria but also to other West African countries.


During the inauguration of the 27th meeting of the ministerial committee of the Action Group Against Money Laundering in West Africa in Abuja, Fagbemi called for a comprehensive assessment to evaluate the current and future risks faced by countries in the region.


He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is very clear that the threats we are facing will only continue to grow and evolve in unanticipated ways. In particular, the threat of artificial intelligence and generative technologies are already beginning to manifest new avenues for fraud.


“At the policy level, we must make all efforts to ensure that we understand the range of threats that we face and those that will confront us in the future. This emphasises the need for continuous and ongoing ways of risk assessment and typologies work.”


The AGF also said the decentralised finance system in use in many countries in the region had enabled illicit financial flows which, according to him, had made tracing and identifying difficult for law enforcement agents.


He said, “The increasing spread and dynamism in technology coupled with geo-political fragility are creating fertile ground for organised criminal groups and transnational terrorist organisations to conduct their illegal activities on a global scale.


“In particular, the explosion in decentralised finance has created opportunities for the kind of anonymous financial systems that facilitate illicit financial flows and hamper the ability of our law enforcement and regulatory agencies to trace and identify the proceeds of criminal activity.” 


Fagbemi called for the development of institutional frameworks for the enforcement of financial crime regulations in the region.


He said, “Our collective commitment to put in place legislative policy and institutional frameworks is necessary to protect the integrity of our financial systems from threats of money laundering, terrorist and proliferation financing.”

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