A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos and presided over by Justice Okechukwu Okeke on Friday, November 23, 2012 convicted a bulk cash courier arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and ordered him to forfeit 25% of the $286,400.00(Two Hundred and Eighty Six Thousand, Four Hundred United States Dollars) not declared to the security agencies before he was arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

The courier, Ikem Sabastine Ikechukwu, was intercepted by operatives of the EFCC, on  Saturday, 29 September, 2012  carrying $286,400.00( Two Hundred and Eighty  Six  Thousand Four Hundred United States Dollars) at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport , Lagos  on his way to Dubai , United Arab Emirates . He only declared the sum of $225,900.00(Two Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand, Nine Hundred United States Dollars) to the Nigerian Customs Service.

The EFCC, on Friday, November 23, arraigned him on a one count charge of money laundering. The one count charge against Ikechukwu reads: “That you Ikem Sabastine Ikechukwu on or about the 29th of September 2012 at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court while transporting in cash the sum of $286, 400.00 (Two Hundred and Eighty Six Thousand, Four Hundred Dollars) only from Nigeria to Dubai, United Arab Emirates falsely declared to the Nigerian Customs Service the sum of $225,900.00 (Two Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand, Nine Hundred Dollars) only instead of the said sum of $286,400.00 (Two Hundred and Eighty Six Thousand, Four Hundred Dollars) as required under section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act cap F34 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Section 2 (3) of the Money Laundering ( Prohibition) Act, 2011 and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 2(5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011”.
 
The accused pleaded guilty to the charge. Based on his plea, prosecuting counsel, A.M. Aliyu prayed the court to convict him. The defence counsel, B. O. Ndakara however pleaded with the court for leniency as the accused person was a first-time offender who did not waste the court’s time, “I pray the court to apply discretion in the terms of punishment to be awarded to the convict", he told the court.

Justice Okeke convicted the accused person as charged.  He ruled that based on the provisions of Section 2(5) of the  Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, the  accused person should forfeit 25 percent of the undeclared sum which is  $60,500 (Sixty Thousand Five Hundred United States Dollars) to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
 

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