THE GLOBAL INITIATIVE NETWORK

Muazu Umaru

Director of Research and Planning, Inter-Governmental Action Group against Money Laundering in West Africa (GIABA)

Mr. Mu’azu UMARU is a Nigerian. He obtained his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Counselling from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and University of Benin, Nigeria, in 1991 and 1995, respectively. He joined the Nigeria’s anti-narcotics outfit, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in 1997, where he rose to become the Head of International Affairs and served as the Special Assistant to the Chairman/Chief Executive of the Agency. In 2009, he joined the Inter-governmental Action Group against Money Laundering (GIABA) in West Africa, a specialised institution of ECOWAS, as Law Enforcement Expert. In July 2011, he was appointed via recruitment as the first Director of Research and Planning of GIABA.

While working in Nigeria, Mr. Umaru represented his country at many international conferences organised by the Interpol and the United Nations, and carried out a number of critical missions abroad for over a decade. He served for eight years (2001-2009) as the Head of Secretariat of the West African Joint Operations (WAJO), a counter-narcotics and counter money laundering law enforcement initiative, covering the whole of West Africa. At GIABA, Mr. Umaru has been playing critical roles in the management of the institution and the delivery of its various programmes and projects especially in the areas of research on money laundering and terrorist financing. Since 2009, he has been a regular participant in the tri-annual meetings of the Financial Action Task Force, the global standard setter on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, where he seats in the Risk, Trends and Methods Group and the Policy Development Group. He has supported ECOWAS countries in various ways to build and improve their national anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regimes, especially in the Areas of national AML/CFT strategies development and national risk assessment. He has supervised several reports on money laundering and terrorist financing for GIABA focusing on West Africa and contributing to several research projects of the Financial Action Task Force. He has been supervising the production of GIABA’s Annual Reports since 2010.

Mr. Umaru is a 2004 Fellow of the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP) (US Department of State) focussed on combating international crime through global cooperation. He is also a 2009 Chevening Fellow (UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office) focussed on tackling international organised crime. He was a visiting Fellow at the New York University’s Centre on International Cooperation (June, 2011). Mr. Umaru is married with children.

Publications

Over the years, Muazu has written and presented several papers on organised crime, drug trafficking, money laundering and terrorist financing – he has especially supervised the production of GIABA typologies studies and annual reports. For 10 years, he was closely involved with the work of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs, Interpol and the UNODC Nigeria Country Office. He has contributed to studies conducted by the FATF and other partners; as well as supported many under-graduate, non-graduate and post-graduate researches.

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