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2 Lebanese bizmen convicted for forex smuggling  print

Published on December 20, 2012 by   ·   1 Comment

Two Lebanese businessmen in Nigeria

Hassan & Talal: forfeit $25,000 to FG

, Hassan Rmaiti and Talal Hammoud who were arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos 26 November with $2,073,160 have been convicted by Justice Okechukwu Okeke of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

While Hassan Rmaiti was arrested with $1,971,920, Talal Hammoud was caught with $101,240.00 (One Hundred and One Thousand, Two Hundred and Forty Dollars).

The convicts were on their way to Lebanon when they were arrested for failure to declare the money to Customs at the airport as required under section 12 of the foreign exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provision) Act cap F34 Laws of the Federation of Nigerian 2004 and section 2(3) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011.

The offence is punishable under section 2(5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

The one count charge against Hammoud read: “That you Talal Hammoud on or about the 7th of November, 2012 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court while transporting in cash the sum of $101,240.00 (one hundred and one thousand two hundred and forty Dollars) from Nigeria to Lebanon failed to declare to the Nigerian Customs Service the said amount of $101,240.00 (one hundred and one thousand two hundred and forty Dollars) as required under section 12 of the foreign exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provision) Act cap F34 Laws of the Federation of Nigerian 2004 and section 2(3) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 2(5) of the Money Laundering (Pr0hibition) Act ) 2011”.

One of the two count charge against Rmaiti reads “That you HASSAN RMAITI on or about the 23rd of November 2012 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos within the jurisdiction of this federal high court while transporting in cash the sum of $1,971,920 (One Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty Dollars) form Nigeria to Lebanon failed to declare the said sum of $1,971,920 (One Million, Nine Hundred and Seventy One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Twenty Dollars), to the Nigerian Custom Services as required under section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act cap F34 Laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 and section 2 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 and thereby committed an offence punishable under section 2(5) of the Money Laundering (prohibition) Act 2011”.
When the charges were read to the accused persons, they all pleaded guilty.

Based on their plea, prosecuting counsel, ABC Ozioko prayed the court to convict them.

Defence counsel, Chris Emeh however pleaded with the court for leniency as the accused persons were first-time offenders.

Justice Okeke accordingly convicted the accused and ordered that they forfeit $25,310 (Twenty Five Thousand Three Hundred and Ten Dollars), being 25% of the undeclared sum to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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Posted by on December 20, 2012, 6:48 pm. Filed under Business, Business News, Currency. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

1 Comment for “2 Lebanese bizmen convicted for forex smuggling”

  1. omobabaolowo

    After the convictions, what happened? The balance of their money would be returns to them. I would advice the Government to place percentage of tax on foreign currencies leaving the shore of this Country, rather than this unsual harassments to passengers leaving the Country with their funds.

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