Officials of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have intercepted €325,640 Euros and another $30,000 (about 175 million naira) being smuggled from Greece and Austria.
The suspected laundered money concealed inside envelopes and shoes were seized at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos during the inward screening of passengers on a Turkish airline flight.
Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the smuggled currencies, according to the NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, Ahmadu Garba.
They were Edos Nicholas and Hallowell Prince Lovely.
NDLEA Head of Public Affairs, Ofoyeju Mitchell, in a statement quoted the airport commander as disclosing that the money was found during routine search of passengers.
Garba said, “During the inward screening of passengers on a Turkish flight, we discovered €325,640 euros and 30,000 dollars. Two suspected passengers, Edos Nicholas found in possession of 279,190 euros and Hallowell Prince Lovely, found in possession of €46,450 euros and 30,000 dollars were also apprehended”.
Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA Col. Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.) has directed the Director of Assets and Financial Investigation of the Agency, Mrs Victoria Egbase to take over the investigation.
Abdallah promised that the cases would be properly investigated and necessary action taken as laundered funds could be used to finance terrorism and distort the economy.
Nicholas who hails from Edo State and claimed to be working in a bakery in Austria reportedly told investigators that the money found on him was given to him.
“The money does not belong to me. I was given by different people in Europe to give to their relatives. I have been living in Vienna, Austria for over fifteen years.”
The second suspect who also hails from Edo State claimed that the money found on him belongs to people and that he was asked to deliver same to the recipients in Nigeria.
“I live in Athens and I work in an African shop. I have lived there for twelve years. The money belongs to many people and some of them are my friends,” he stated.
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