Nigerian banks have been fined for illegal transfers.
The Nigerian central bank fined four major banks $16 million. These banks are accused of helping the country’s largest mobile operator, MTN, to illegally transfer $8 billion abroad.
Banks and MTNs have been ordered to repay the money.
Banks under fire are Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic IBTC, Citibank and Diamond Bank.
These financial institutions were first investigated for violation of the Naira’s exchange rules in 2016. But they were finally cleared by the Senate, the upper house of parliament.
Nigerian laws allow the repatriation of funds for investors but with certain restrictions.
MTN has denied the allegations of illegal transfer of money abroad.
The Stanbic IBTC said in a statement that it has contacted the central bank after its decision.
The other banks did not comment.
MTN, the largest telephone company in Africa, was fined $5 billion in 2015 by the Nigerian telecommunications regulator for failing to enforce a government injunction to disconnect five million unregistered numbers.
The fine was subsequently reduced to $1.7 billion.
MTN has over 50 million Nigerian customers and the country accounts for more than 30% of the company’s business.