Nigeria anti-graft body intercepts $2.8m cash at airport, two men arrested

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THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Nigeria’s leading anti-graft body on Thursday intercepted $2.8m cash at an airport in southeast Nigeria.

The EFCC said its zonal office in Enugu had seized the money from two men suspected to be money launderers at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport.

An EFCC statement read in part, ‘The suspects, namely Ighoh Augustine and Ezekwe Emmanuel, allegedly working for a company – Bankers Warehouse – were nabbed based on intelligence report.

‘Upon their arrest, they were caught with consignments of two suitcases, containing $1.4 million each, totalling $2.8 million, at the departure lounge of the airport while about to board an Arik Air evening flight to Lagos.’

According to the EFCC, their interrogations led the suspects to confess carrying such sums of monies for notable banks in the country for years. They were in the process of doing same for Union Bank PLC in the adjoining Anambra State when they were caught.

‘The suspects further confessed that they had so far carried out such assignments, “four times this year”. They are presently giving useful information to operatives of the Commission, and will be charged to court soon,’ the statement concluded.

It is not the first time the body is making such interceptions of forex denominated notes. A similar operation in 2017 led to discovery of about $43 million in an apartment, which issue led to the dismissal of the country’s spy chief.

The EFCC seized over $625,000 cash in a popular market in the commercial capital Lagos in April 2017. In February, they had seized $9.8m cash in a house in the northern Kaduna State.

This year, Customs officials also intercepted a man who attempted flying out of the country with over $375,000. He was handed over to the EFCC. Then in April, EFCC nabbed a man with 400,000 fake dollar bills.

 

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