Irked by the continued scarcity of New Naira Notes despite huge sum already injected into economy by Crntral Bank of Nigeria (CBN), operatives of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stormed some hideouts and arrested people for alleged hoarding of the new notes.
The EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, who made this known reiterated that the anti-graft agency arrested members of a syndicate over currency hoarding and trading in the redesigned Naira notes in Abuja.
According to the EFCC spokesperson, the operations were carried out in Zone 4 and Dei Dei axis of the Federal Capital Territory between Saturday 28 January and Monday 31 January 2023.
He noted that the operation followed intelligence on activities of unscrupulous currency speculators who were exploiting citizens by offering them the new naira notes for foreign currencies at below the going rate.
The action came few hours after CBN governor, Godwin Emefile, said the apex bank would collaborate with law enforcement agencies such as the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, to track such heavy withdrawals.
The secret police also alleged that the perpetrators were working in collaboration with some officials of commercial banks.
EFCC further noted that its findings revealed that some of the money traders are working with officials of Money Deposit Banks, adding that it’ll extend its operation to all major commercial centres across the country until all syndicates involved in the illegal trade are demobilized.
The anti-graft agency also urged financial market operators to ensure compliance with the guidelines set by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“The suspects have made useful statements, including a disclosure that they were acting in cohort with some unscrupulous officials of Money Deposit Banks.
“The commission will extend the operation to all the major commercial centres of the country until all the syndicates involved in the illegal trade are demobilized. Financial system operators are also warned to desist from the sharp practices or risk arrest and prosecution.”
In addition Uwujaren explained that “Zonal commanders of the EFCC also met with officials of various banks in their commands in an effort to ascertain the volume of the new notes issued to the commercial banks and how the banks were dispensing the monies to their customers.
“The commanders urged the financial market operators to ensure compliance with the guidelines set by the Central Bank of Nigeria while disclosing that they have dispatched operatives across their Commands to monitor the level of compliance by banks and other operators in the financial market.”
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