EFCC CHAIRMAN, Ibrahim lamorde
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday arrested two suspects over an attempt to smuggle more than $238,858 out of the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja .
A statement by the spokesman of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, stated that one of the suspects, Abdulrasheed Ibrahim, was nabbed on November 7 as he prepared to board a Dubai-bound Ethiopian Airline.
A total of $188,858 was found on him. He had declared the sum of $45,000 only for a search on him revealed additional $143, 858.
Further search revealed that he was carrying forty British Pounds and 5753grams of solid gold worth N34.5 million.
The suspect is still being interrogated
The second suspect, Hyginus Ezedimbu, was apprehended at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on November 3 as he prepared to board an Ethiopian Airline on his way to China. He was caught with $50,000 but he declared $49,971.
Apart from under declaring the money in his possession, Ezedimbu could also not explain the ownership of the money, nor was he able to produce the receipt with which he purportedly purchased the forex from a Bureau De Change.
Musa Adamu, operator of Majia Bureau de Change, Abuja, who purportedly sold the currency to Ezedimbu has been questioned even as the suspect had been release on administrative bail, pending the conclusion of the ongoing investigation.
The arrest of the duo came on the heels of similar arrests at two of the nation’s other major gateway, the Murtala Mohammed International Airport , Lagos and the Mallam Aminu Kano Airport , Kano .
Abubakar Tijani Sheriff, who had since been convicted by a Federal High Court in Lagos, was arrested on September 27, at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos en route Dubai, United Arab Emirate, for attempting to smuggle $7 million out of the country.
When he was arrested, he declared that he had only $4.5 million on him but thorough search showed that he was actually carrying $7,049,444.
Two days after Sheriff’s arrest, the anti-graft agency similarly apprehended one Nkem Sebastian for attempting to smuggle $286,000 out of the country.
He was arrested as he prepared to board a plane to Dubai en route China. When the money was discovered, Sebastian disclosed that he had only $200,000 on him. But a search revealed that he was actually carrying $286,000.
On September 30, operatives of the commission had arrested one Alhaji Tasiu Ilu Kura, a businessman, with $700,000 (about N112 million) at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.
The suspect who hails from Kura Local Government in Kano State, was arrested en route Dubai.
Under declaring cash at entry and exit points in the country is a criminal offence and the person making the declaration risk losing 25 per cent of the money not declared or a two year jail term or both.