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Currency Trafficking: NDLEA Arrests Woman with $114,245 dollars, €2,020 euros



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A 52-year Nigerian woman of British extraction has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over alleged currency trafficking.

The suspect was arrested during a search while attempting to board a Virgin Atlantic flight to London.

Found on her were $114,245 dollars and €2,020 euros concealed inside 13 white envelopes in her luggage.

Olukoya Sarah, born to a Nigerian father and a Scottish mother has both Nigerian and British international passports.

NDLEA Director of Assets and Financial Investigations (DAFI), Mrs Victoria Egbase said that the suspect was arrested on suspicion of currency trafficking.

“The suspect was found with $114,245 dollars and €2,020 euros that were not declared in accordance with the law at the airport,” Victoria stated.

The suspect in her voluntary statement said that the seized moneys are her legitimate earnings. “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 school fees and my medical bills,” she stated.

According to the Head, Public Affairs of NDLEA, Ofoyeju Mitchell said in a statement that Olukoya Sarah did not provide documents and material evidence to substantiate her possession of the money found on her.

It was learnt that though the NDLEA did not have direct link to moneys or proceeds of narcotic trade, it however insisted that lack of declaration of the money makes her action not only suspicious but liable to prosecution under the Act.

According to Section 2 subsection 5 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2012 as amended states that “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.


It was further gathered that following the unsatisfactory explanation of the suspect, the Acting Chairman of the Agency, Mrs Roli Bode-George has directed that the case be immediately transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation and action.