Sunday, 27 September 2015

EFCC Storms Onitsha Market Over Money Laundering…Arrests 7, Seizes Dollars, Passports

There is tension in Onitsha Main Market, Anambra state as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stormed the market after arresting seven traders at the Enugu Interna­tional Airport for alleged money laundering.
Sunday Sun gathered that the development sparked fears es­pecially among importers and operators of Bureau de Change in the market.
A source said the arrested trad­ers who were traveling either to China or Dubai were carrying with them dollars more than the stipulated approved amount for those traveling outside Nigeria, adding that some had $100,000, while others were in possession of $60,000. The officially al­lowed maximum travel allow­ance is $5000.

The source said that upon in­terrogation, the traders were said to have mentioned where they purchased the foreign currency in the market, hence the visit of the EFCC operatives to the Main Market to arrest the dealers.
It was also gathered that few weeks ago, it was gathered that the EFCC operatives at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, ar­rested some traders for allegedly being in illegal possession of for­eign currency above the stipu­lated amount.
Chairman of the Onitsha Main Market Traders Union (OMMA­TU), Chief Innocent Agudiegwu who confirmed the incident, said that the traders were arrested at the airport and brought to the market where it was ascertained that they were genuine traders and not money launderers.
He said seven traders were involved from different markets in Onitsha who were also con­firmed to be shop owners and genuine importers, traveling to buy goods.
Agudiegwu noted that they were not detained but their dol­lars and international passports were seized. He called on the EFCC to hasten the investigation and release the money and the passports to their owners.
confiscated 23 empty barges reportedly used for illegal oil deals.
According to the command­er of OPS, Major-General Al­ani Okunola, the products and the barges were seized during an anti-illegal oil bunkering operation at Tamunotonye Ama village in Ogu Bolo Lo­cal Government Area, Rivers State.

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