About $10 million was intercepted last week at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, by men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The head of economic governance department of the commission who led the operation, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, disclosed this at the ongoing United Nations-EFCC conference, this time tagged “cooperation between regulators and reporting institutions for effective anti-money laundering regime in Nigeria.”
He stated that a five- man gang, made up of one Lebanese and four Nigerians, suspected to be currency traffickers and deeply involved in exporting currency, was arrested on board Emirates Airline at the airport in Lagos, with the cash.
The head of the department disclosed that the Emirates Airline was the last flight to Dubai from Lagos on that day and the suspects have refused to disclose reason for the export of such huge sums of money to Dubai. Accordingly, the suspects have since been arraigned at the Federal High Court, Lagos, for money laundering and economic crime offences.
Other were remanded in prison custody pending when their trial process would be concluded. Magu further hinted that another 600,000 euro was recovered by the commission recently, with a Nigerian suspected to be involved in money laundering, and the suspect has since been arraigned in court for anti-money laundering offences.
He explained that genuine money transactions with other countries are declared by those involved, and when such documents are presented to the security operatives officially, any airline is therefore authorised to fly such currency abroad for genuine business. The commission disclosed that it has completed over 200 cases of conviction, while about 2,000 cases are still being investigated in its Lagos office alone.
The Anti-corruption, Money Laundering and Economic Governance Department of the EFCC is saddled with the responsibility of investigating and intercepting currency suspected to have been illegally imported or exported.The commission has also promised to be a step ahead of the criminals, if meaningful progress is to be achieved, considering the new methods of internet scam perpetrated by men of the advance fee fraud (419).
– Leadership Newspaper