EFCC storms Onitsha market over money laundering
There is tension in Onitsha Main Market, Anambra state as operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) stormed the market after arresting seven traders at the Enugu International Airport for alleged money laundering.
Sunday Sun gathered that the development sparked fears especially among importers and operators of Bureau de Change in the market.
A source said the arrested traders who were traveling either to China or Dubai were carrying with them dollars more than the stipulated approved amount for those traveling outside Nigeria, adding that some had $100,000, while others were in possession of $60,000. The officially allowed maximum travel allowance is $5000.
The source said that upon interrogation, the traders were said to have mentioned where they purchased the foreign currency in the market, hence the visit of the EFCC operatives to the Main Market to arrest the dealers.
It was also gathered that few weeks ago, it was gathered that the EFCC operatives at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, arrested some traders for allegedly being in illegal possession of foreign currency above the stipulated amount.
Chairman of the Onitsha Main Market Traders Union (OMMATU), Chief Innocent Agudiegwu who confirmed the incident, said that the traders were arrested at the airport and brought to the market where it was ascertained that they were genuine traders and not money launderers.
He said seven traders were involved from different markets in Onitsha who were also confirmed to be shop owners and genuine importers, traveling to buy goods.
Agudiegwu noted that they were not detained but their dollars and international passports were seized. He called on the EFCC to hasten the investigation and release the money and the passports to their owners.
confiscated 23 empty barges reportedly used for illegal oil deals.
According to the commander of OPS, Major-General Alani Okunola, the products and the barges were seized during an anti-illegal oil bunkering operation at Tamunotonye Ama village in Ogu Bolo Local Government Area, Rivers State.