Friday, 4 December 2015

NDLEA Arrests Woman For Currency Trafficking In Lagos

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) officilas have arrested a 52-year-old Nigerian woman of British extraction for alleged currency trafficking.

The suspect, Sarah Olukoya, was arrested yesterday while trying to board a Virgin Atlantic flight to London at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at Ikeja, Lagos.

She was found with $114,245 and €2,020 cash inside 13 white envelopes in her luggage.

Born to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother, Olukoya had both Nigerian and British international passports.

NDLEA Director of Assets and Financial Investigations (DAFI) Mrs Victoria Egbase said the suspect was arrested for alleged currency trafficking.
“The suspect was found with $114,245 and €2,020 that were not declared in accordance with the law at the airport,” Egbase said.

The suspect said she legitimately earned the money.

She said: “I am an architect based in London. The money is part of rent paid to me by tenants in a property I inherited. It is also part of architectural and interior decoration work I did as well as loans from family members.

I used to send money through the bank but the new regulation made me to carry cash. I intend to use the money to pay my children’s school fees and my medical bills”.

Olukoya did not provide evidence to support her claim.

This, according to NDLEA, suggests currency trafficking.

Though NDLEA did not link the money to proceeds of narcotic trade, it said Olukoya’s refusal to declare it was an offence.
Section 2 (5) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2012 as amended states: “Any person who falsely declares or fails to make a declaration to the Nigerian Customs Service pursuant to Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap. F34, LFN, 2004 is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to forfeit the undeclared funds or negotiable instrument or to imprisonment to a term of not less than two years or both”.

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