Money Laundering in Nigeria takes different shapes everyday. Report from Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos has it that a suspect, Ozoh Ikenna, was arrested by officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) while trying to make away with the total sum of $34,000 to Brazil in wraps.
The NDLEA Airport Commander, Ahmadu Garba, claimed the arrest was engineered by the scanning machine. In his words, “The wraps of dollars found on Ozoh Ikenna were detected with the aid of scanning machine. We also conducted a follow-up operation where one Ogbo Emmanuel who gave Ozoh $34,000 was arrested”
Further investigations carried out by the Assets and Financial Investigation Directorate headed by Mrs Victoria Egbase exposed that the suspects were active in the laundering of a substantial amount of money which was illicit drug proceeds.
”We were able to trace over N226,000,000 to one bank account, belonging to the second suspect, Ogbo Emmanuel. The account name is Eternal God International Limited” She said
Ogbo Emmanuel, whose state of origin is Anambra travelled to Onitsha after his Secondary school education to learn the automobile spare part business. He later relocated to lagos after which he left for Gambia in chase of greener pastures. He left Gambia for Germany where he went to purchase used Electronics.
When interrogated, the nabbed suspect Ozoh said; “I live in Brazil since 2008. I was paid to smuggle the $34,000 to Brazil. They promised to pay me five per cent. I agreed to smuggle the money to alleviate my financial hardship. I could not swallow the wraps, so I decided to hide them in my shorts.”
It was reveled according to investigation that the cosmetic business of Ogbo Emmanuel at the Trade Fair Complex, Lagos was a mirage to cover-up as his sales record did not give a commensurate balance when juxtaposed with the large flow of money into his bank account.
The NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive, Ahmadu Giade, gave his word pertaining what the agency is doing to curb the growing issues of criminal wealth.
“Asset forfeiture is one of the effective ways of responding to organised crime threats. We are working assiduously to trace and confiscate criminal wealth of drug syndicates. Strategic efforts are ongoing to prevent the entry of drug proceeds into legitimate economy and criminal financing,” he said.
The NDLEA further stressed that the suspects will be appropriately prosecuted with the law in major consideration.