Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes C o m m i s s i o n (EFCC) have intercepted gold worth about N211 million being illegally transported through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos en route Dubai. The Acting Head, Media & Publicity, Mr. Tony Orilade, said the operatives swooped on the gold following intelligence report.
He said: “The operatives on November 9, 2018 uncovered the gold weighing about 35kg just at the point of departure of a suspect currently in the EFCC’s custody. Investigations are currently ongoing to unravel his accomplice behind the illegal movement of the goods. Meanwhile, the suspect is cooperating with operatives.”
This is not the first time and not likely going to be last time that adventurous Nigerians would be attempting to beat the operatives at airports in their bid to ferry undisclosed money, gold and other items out of the country.
And no matter the number of arrests made by operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and EFCC, suspected criminals keep making daring moves, hoping to bead these operatives. In March 2017, EFCC intercepted bags containing $370,000, an equivalent of N49 million being illegally transported out of the country through the Kaduna International Airport.
According to the EFCC, the suspect, Adamu Rabiu Mohammed, was intercepted by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the Kaduna International Airport on March 3. Mohammed was preparing to board an Ethiopian Airline flight to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, when he caught the attention of the Customs men.
He was subsequently handed over to the EFCC for further investigation. In 2016, NDLEA said it seized €325,640 and $30,000, totalling about N175 million, being smuggled into Nigeria from Greece and Austria.
The anti-narcotics agency said that the suspects concealed the money inside envelopes and shoes, which were seized at the MMIA, Lagos during the inward screening of passengers on a Turkish Airline flight. The Money L a u n d e r i n g (Prohibition) Act, 2011 forbids individuals coming into or leaving the country from carrying above $10,000 cash, except the amount is declared. Section 2(3) provides that “transportation of cash or negotiable instruments in excess of $10,000 or its equivalent by individuals in or out of the country shall be declared to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)”.
Section 2(5) states that, “Any person who falsely declares or fails to make a declaration to the NCS pursuant to Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap. F34, LFN, 2004 is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to forfeit the undeclared funds or negotiable instrument or to imprisonment of not less than two (2) years or to both.”
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