The Nigeria Customs has arrested a Dubai-bound Nigerian, Abubakar Ishaq at the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, with 2,886 ATM cards, concealed in noodles.
Ishaq also had on him four Subscriber Identification Module( SIM) cards.
The suspect was arrested on 22 August. He was billed to board an Emirates evacuation flight to Dubai.
He was handed to the Lagos Zone of the EFCC today by the Deputy Comptroller, Enforcement, Abudulmumuni Bako.
Bako told the EFCC, how the suspect was interdicted:
“Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service at the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, on August 22, 2020, intercepted the suspect with 2, 886 ATM cards and four SIM cards, which he carefully concealed in parks of Noodles.”
Bako, who represented the Customs Area Comptroller, A. Ma’aji, added that “The suspect, who claimed to have come from Kano to travel to Dubai aboard the Emirate Evacuation flight , was seen with someone who was assigned to facilitate his movement through the airport checks.
“This raised the suspicion of the officers who insisted he should be physically and thoroughly checked after the scan machine had revealed he was carrying parks of noodles”, he said.
The Lagos zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, said it has commenced investigations.
The Lagos zonal head, AbdulRasheed Bawa, who received the suspect on behalf of the Commission, assured the Customs Service that the Commission would duly investigate the suspect and any other party that might be involved in the alleged criminal offence.
“On behalf of the Commission and the acting Chairman, Mr. Muhammed Umar, we have taken over Ishaq. I can assure you that we are going to investigate the matter thoroughly and unveil everybody involved in the syndicate.
“There are a number of possibilities. There is an element of conspiracy, foreign exchange (FOREX) malpractices and money laundering.
“Indeed, banks and bankers are definitely involved. “
Bawa also emphasized the possibility of the suspect being a member of a network.
“In recent months, we have observed a trend in which unsuspecting Nigerians are lured into opening accounts to be bought at a fee.
“Most bankers are not carrying out their duties with due diligence, particularly the Know Your Customers, KYC, procedural check”, he said.