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170 currency racketeers arrested, 23 jailed in one month – EFCC

EFCC

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured the conviction of 23 illegal Bureau De Change operators and naira racketeers within the last month.

The commission also arrested and arraigned 170 for similar offences.

The EFCC Special Task Force also arrested 116 illegal BDC operators, and currency racketeers in Enugu State during a massive clampdown.

During the Enugu clampdown, the EFCC recovered N110.7m, $8,368.00, £145.00, €2,725; 900 South African Rand; 32,000.00 CFA; 100 Turkiya; and 500 Bank Mozambique currencies.

The EFCC also revealed that the International Criminal Police Organisation, the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, the governments of the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, and Kenya, are assisting in the extradition of a Binance Holding Limited’s executive, Nadeem Anjarwalla over an ongoing alleged $35,400,000 money laundering probe.

Details of the development were revealed in an EFCC document signed by the commission’s Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, titled “EFCC Alert.”

The document further revealed that the EFCC Special Task Force had swung into action since its formation on February 7, 2024, and had been getting impressive results. Olukoyede said the arrests and convictions were a testament to the hard work of the EFCC.

He noted, “That the EFCC has secured 23 convictions for the offence of currency racketeering and operation of illegal BDCs with the Special Task Force in less than a month lends evidence to hard work and dedication.

“Eleven of the convictions were recorded in Kano alone; three in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, five in Lagos, one in Port Harcourt and three in Kaduna.

“Currently facing prosecution for the same offences are 170 suspects, spread across just eight zonal offices of Kano, Ibadan, Enugu, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo and Maiduguri.”

He further revealed that during a sting operation, EFCC operatives arrested 116 suspects, comprising a mix of illegal Bureau de Change operators, currency speculators and street hawkers operating illegal foreign exchange markets.

The document further revealed that “Of the haul of 116 arrests made in Enugu in a sting operation, comprising a mix of illegal bureau de change operators, currency speculators and street hawkers operating illegal foreign exchange markets, recoveries included, N110, 700,000.00, $8,368.00, £145.00, €2,725; 900 South African Rand; 32,000.00 CFA; 100 Turkiya; and 500 Bank Mozambique currencies in different denominations, and an abandoned safe by currency street hawkers.

The statement continued: “Some of the suspects are foreigners from neighbouring countries. It is cheerless that whereas denominating service charges and prices in currencies order than the naira, as well as naira mutilation and offering it for sale are designated as offences in the country, enforcement has been lax until the EFCC under Olukoyede took up the gauntlet.”

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