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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

NDLEA: New tricks on how to launder cash

New ways to launder cash, by NDLEA
The arrest at the weekend at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, of Udeh Onuora Pascal (34), with 108 Automated Teller Machines (ATM) debit cards may have opened a lead to the discovery of another means of money laundering.
Udeh is suspected to be working for an international criminal organisation.
It was learnt that security agencies attached to major international airports have discovered that passengers now launder huge sums of money abroad by loading money into unsuspecting  people’s accounts with the plan of pulling the cash out using debit cards on arrival at their destination .
The new trick, according to officials of the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) is to beat the Customs and Immigration checks at the airport, which require them to declare any foreign currency in excess of $5,000.
According to regulations, passengers are expected to fill certain forms at the airport if they are in possession of any foreign currency above the prescribed amount.

The forms issued by Nigerian Customs Service, is to ensure that huge foreign currencies are documented by the service and relevant checks carried out on its owners before they leave the country.
Spokesman of the NDLEA Mr. Mitchel Ofoyeju, said some passengers are now taking steps to beat existing regulations by using people’s accounts to launder money.
He said the NDLEA and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have tightened security to prevent money laundering through the airports.
The synergy, he said, may have pushed some passengers to think of ingenious ways to launder money by using credit cards obtained from people in whose account they have lodged huge sums of money.
Udeh was attempting to board a Qatar Airline flight to China when he was arrested with the debit cards which belong to five commercial banks.
The suspect, who was first transferred to the Assets and Financial Investigation Directorate of the Agency for investigation, has now been turned over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), according to Mrs. Victoria Egbase, the NDLEA director of assets and financial investigation department.
The suspect, in his statement said he was asked to take the cards to China.
“I am not the owner of the cards. I was told to take them to China and that somebody will collect them from me when I get there. I have a shop where I sell clothes at Onitsha main market. I am also a 300 level student of Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Anambra State studying History and International Relations.
“I never knew it would lead to my arrest,” said Udeh who hails from Obibi in Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State.

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