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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives have arrested some Bureau De Change (BDC) operators with $2 million and $6 million in the country.
EFCC stated that through its operatives’ presence at the major gateway into the country, many arrests of cash smugglers have been made, saying humungous sums in foreign currencies were recovered.
The EFCC Director of Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkol, made this known while fielding questions on Good Morning Nigeria, a breakfast programme on the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA).
According to a statement on the commission’s website, Chukkol, who represented the Executive Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said the EFCC did not only recover some of the monies but secured their forfeiture to the Federal Government, noting that the culprits were prosecuted.
He stressed the need for active inter-agency and stakeholder’s collaboration, saying many of the over 6,000 registered BDCs do not belong to the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria and therefore out of the orbit of regulators.
He stressed that the anti-graft agency considers foreign exchange malpractice as an economic crime against the country, adding that the commission, in 2016, established a full-fledge Section known as Foreign Exchange Malpractices Section.
Chukkol said for over ten years, the Section maintained visible “presence at all airports in the country to checkmate incidences of bulk cash movement outside Nigeria which is another aspect of this menace.”
“Some were arrested with excess of $6 million, others with $2 million and we know that these huge sums were not meant to be used in buying goods but stolen monies being laundered out of the country,” he said.
Chukkol, however, stated that the EFCC’s arrest of BDC operators and currency speculators in the parallel market was not indiscriminate but a product of intelligence.
“At EFCC, we work with intelligence and with other stakeholders; and when we talk of illegal forex operators you cannot just invite people on the street even though sometimes you could, but generally you do not have a choice but to make arrest,” he added.
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