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Money Laundering: Coalition Urges Investigation Of Bureau De Change Operator And Bank

December 18, 2015

In line with the aim to constructively combat corruption, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC), has sent a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), to urgently investigate the Bureau de Change operator and the bank that was said to be recently involved in a N310 million currency exchange transaction, where some security aides attached to the Senate President Bukola Saraki were involved.


Taking its cue from a report dated December 6th, 2015 via SaharaReporters, an online newspaper, where it was reported that agents of the Department of State Security Service (DSS) assigned to Senate President Bukola Saraki had stolen N310 million from funds an operator of a Bureau de Change operator was transporting to the Senate President.

Since, the Senate President has dismissed claims that he was the owner of the said sum of money stolen by the DSS officials.

In a statement released by the spokesman of the Senate President Yusuf Olaniyonu, he said the money did not belong to him and that he does not know the bureau de change operator or the owner of the money.

He however admitted that two of the suspects were men attached to the security team of the Senate President.

The Commissioner of Police for the Federal Capital Territory was quoted to have also stated that investigations have revealed that the sum of money belonged to the Bureau de Change operator who has not been named and not the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.

In the petition signed by its chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, the CSNAC said the matter is clearly a case of money laundering.

"The Bureau de Change operator had withdrawn over N310 million cash for the said business transaction in gross contravention of established rules by the Central bank of Nigeria and Anti-Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011. Section 1 of the Act provides:

No person or body corporate shall; except in a transaction through a financial institution, make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding-
1. #5,000,000 or its equivalent, in the case of an individual; or
2. #10,000,000 or its equivalent in the case of a body corporate.”

Mr. Suraju continued, "this transaction is a clear violation of the Act in reference and constitutes an offence within the powers of your Commission. What remains a mystery is why a bank will authorize the withdrawal of such a huge amount of money in defiance of the law on money laundering and laid down rules and procedures."

Making its submission, the petition reads, "CSNAC is therefore by this petition, demanding that the Commission launches a full scale investigation into this incident. More importantly, to identify the operator of the Bureau de Change, as well as, the bank that allowed the withdrawal of the over N310 million, to ensure their prosecutions under the Act.”