EFCC raids bureau de change operators’ neighbourhood in Abuja


Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday, raided the Wuse Zone 4 area of Abuja, in search of currency speculators at the bureau de change operators’ stands in the neighbourhood, PREMIUM TIMES reports.

According to an EFCC source familiar with the development, the anti-graft agency invaded places occupied by the operators to arrest currency speculators who are alleged to be massively mopping up available foreign currencies.

How the commission’s operators intended to identify perpetrators was not immediately clear to our reporter.

Although it is not clear whether any of the currency exchangers were arrested, a source said the raid was a result of weeks of surveillance in which agents of the EFCC monitored the activities of the operators in the nighbourhood.

“The raid is a product of weeks of surveillance in which agents of the EFCC have been monitoring the activities of most of the Bureau de change operators in the Wuse 4 axis,” the source said.

When contacted, the commission’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, was not available for comment.

Mr Uwujaren did not respond to calls and text messages sent to his known phone number.

Last week the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said “taking money from banks to buy dollars” is illegal.

Speaking at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Lagos, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, threatened to ensure the arrest and prosecution of any perpetrators caught in the act.

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According to sources at EFCC, the commission would be extending its operations to other parts of the country, especially major commercial cities such as Kano, Lagos, and Port Harcourt.

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The source, who asked not to be named because there was no authorisation to talk to the press on the issue, also said some of its operatives have been stationed at major airports in Nigeria to arrest perpetrators involved in buying up available foreign currencies.

“The anti-graft agency is said to be working on intelligence that some forces with massive Naira inflow have mobilised resources and, are busy buying up available foreign currencies especially the United States Dollar, to either hoard or smuggle the same put of Nigeria.

“Some operatives of the Commission have also been spotted at major airports in the country. There has lately been a run on the value of the Naira with the currency exchanging for over N700 to a dollar.”

In recent weeks the naira has continued to crash against the dollar. On Thursday, the naira crashed to over N700 to one dollar in the parallel market.

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