In an operation clampdown and curtailing the illegal activities of Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, launched since February 7, 2024, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has convicted twenty-three BDC operators and arrested as well as arraigned one hundred and seventy people for similar crimes in a space of one month.


The following currencies were confiscated by the EFCC during the Enugu clampdown: N110.7m, $8,368.00, £145.00, €2,725; 900 South African Rand; 32,000.00 CFA; 100 Turkiya; and 500 Bank Mozambique banknotes. A $35,000,000 money laundering investigation involving Binance Holding Limited’s executive Nadeem Anjarwalla is currently underway, according to the EFCC. The extradition of Anjarwalla is being assisted by the International Criminal Police Organisation, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the UK, NI, and Kenyan governments.


The commission’s chairman, Ola Olukoyede, noted, “That the EFCC has secured 23 convictions for the offence of currency racketeering and operation of illegal BDCs with the Special Task Force in less than a month lends evidence to hard work and dedication. Kano alone recorded eleven convictions: three in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State; five in Lagos; one in Port Harcourt; and three in Kaduna. Currently facing prosecution for the same offences are 170 suspects, spread across just eight zonal offices in Kano, Ibadan, Enugu, Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Uyo, and Maiduguri.”


In addition, he stated, “Of the haul of 116 arrests made in Enugu in a sting operation, comprising a mix of illegal bureau de change operators, currency speculators, and street hawkers operating illegal foreign exchange markets, recoveries included N110, 700,000.00, $8,368.00, £145.00, €2,725; 900 South African Rand; 32,000.00 CFA; 100 Turkiya; and 500 Bank Mozambique currencies in different denominations, and an abandoned safe by currency street hawkers.


“Some of the suspects are foreigners from neighbouring countries. It is cheerless that whereas denominating service charges and prices in currencies other than the naira, as well as naira mutilation and offering it for sale, are designated as offences in the country, enforcement has been lax until the EFCC under Olukoyede took up the gauntlet.”


It was further noted via a document released by the commission, EFCC Alert, that there has been an impressive development.



By Chidimma NWAFOR


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