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DSS, EFCC arrest redesigned Naira racketeers in Abuja

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The Department of State Services (DSS) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested some members of organised syndicates involved in the hoarding and sales of the newly redesigned naira notes in Abuja and other parts of the country.

Both agencies arrested their suspects separately, but while the DSS did not disclose the location where their syndicates were picked up, the EFCC revealed that its suspects were arrested during different operations in Zone 4 and Dei Dei axis of the country’s capital.

In separate statements, both agencies of the federal government, meanwhile, warned officials of commercial banks to desist from giving the currency to vendors that engage in sales and hoarding.
The spokesperson for the DSS, Peter Afunanya, added that it was discovered during investigations that some Commercial Bank officials were aiding the economic malfeasance.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) hereby informs the public that it has intercepted some members of organised syndicates involved in the sale of the newly redesigned naira notes. In the course of its operations, in this regard in parts of the country, it was also established that some Commercial Bank officials are aiding the economic malfeasance.
“Consequently, the Service warns the currency racketeers to desist from this ignoble act. Appropriate regulatory authorities are, in this same vein, urged to step up monitoring and supervisory activities to expeditiously address emerging trends.
“It should be noted that the Service has ordered its Commands and Formations to further ensure that all persons and groups engaged in the illegal sale of the notes are identified. Therefore, anyone with useful information relating to this is encouraged to pass the same to the relevant authorities”, he added.

Meanwhile, EFCC disclosed that the suspect currently in its custody were picked from their locations on Saturday, January 28, and Monday, January 30, 2023.

The agency, in a statement on its official social media handle, added that their arrests were made easy after thorough investigations of their operations.

According to the statement, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in separate operations in Zone 4 and Dei Dei axis of the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday, January 28, and Monday, January 30, 2023 nabbed members of a syndicate of currency racketeers hoarding and trading with the redesigned Naira notes.

“The operation followed intelligence on activities of unscrupulous currency speculators who were exploiting desperate citizens by offering them the new Naira notes for foreign currencies at below the going rate.
“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.
 “Zonal Commanders of the EFCC today, 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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