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Customs intercepts cryptocurrency machines, 148 drones in Lagos

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The Murtala Muhammed International Airport command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says its officers intercepted fake $1.2 million notes, 148 drones, and five cryptocurrency machines in Lagos.

Speaking on Thursday during the hand over of the seized items to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Charles Orbih, customs area commander, said the items were confiscated between January and April.

Orbih said the intercepted items were handed over to the appropriate authorities in Lagos as directed by Bashir Adeniyi, comptroller-general of customs.

“The command also handed over 148 pieces of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) also known as drones, 112 military hardware and accessories, two bulletproof helmets and two military vests to the 81 division of the Nigerian Army in Lagos,” NAN quoted Orbih as saying.

“The counterfeited foreign currencies were handed over to the EFCC’s assistant commander, Oguzi Moses.

“Also, the UAVs and other military hardware were handed over to the General Officer commanding (GOC), 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Muhammad Usman.”

He said the importers of the UAVs were unable to present an end-user certificate (EUC) from the office of the national security adviser (ONSA).

“Virtually all the drones were abandoned, while drones above 250 grams are to come with EUCs and whenever we ask for the certificate, they abandon the UAVs,” he added.

The area commander said the NCS generated N19 billion in revenue between January and April this year, adding that there was a 67 percent increase in collection when juxtaposed with 2023.

“In line with the NCS mandate of revenue collection, revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, trade facilitation and national security, the officers and men of the command under my watch remained resolute and dedicated in ensuring the blockage of revenue leakages,” he added.

“The command also ensured facilitation of legitimate trade through a combined effort, in compliance with the policy thrust of the comptroller-general of customs.

“The command generated N19 billion between January and April 2024. This represents 42 percent collection of the annual revenue target given to the command for the year 2024 and 67 percent increase in collection against the preceding year of 2023.

“In our continued effort to block revenue leakages, the command made some seizures and detention of the following items — precious stones such as zinc, lithium, copper stones/sand, 120 pieces of SIM cards.

“The command seized four drones with a duty paid value of N7.8 million; one wooden giraffe statue and five bulletproof jackets with a DPV of N1.25 million.”

Crime

EFCC arrests man for spraying naira notes in Gombe

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives at the Gombe zonal command have arrested one Zachariyya Muhammad for “abuse of the naira”.

In a statement on Wednesday, the EFCC said Muhammad was arrested on May 25 following intelligence linking him with alleged spraying of naira notes at G-Connect in Tunfure, Gombe.

“Upon his arrest, he was shown a video where he was dancing and spraying Naira notes in N200 (Two Hundred Naira) denomination. He admitted to being the one in the video,” the statement reads.

“He will be charged to court upon conclusion of investigations.”

Section 21 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act frowns at abuse of the naira in the form of tampering, stepping on, tearing, spraying, and hawking.

Section 21 of the Act states: “(1) A person who tampers with a coin or note issued by the Bank is guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable to imprisonment for a term not less than six months or to a fine not less than N50,000 or to both such fine and imprisonment.

“(3) For the avoidance of doubt, spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under Sub-section (1) of this section.”

Recently, the EFCC went after celebrities who allegedly abused the naira.

On April 12, a federal high court in Lagos sentenced Bobrisky, the social media celebrity, to six months in prison for abusing the naira.

On April 16, the EFCC filed a three-count charge against Cubana Chief Priest, the nightlife promoter, for alleged abuse of the Nigerian currency.

Earlier this month, the EFCC said its operatives in Kano have secured the convictions of 31 individuals involved in illegal currency trading and abuse of the naira.

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Crime

NDLEA arrests couple for running drug cartel, seizes 50 blocks of cocaine

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) says its operatives have arrested Lookman Dauda and Olayinka Toheebat Dauda, a couple, for running a drug cartel.

In a statement on Tuesday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said the duo was arrested on May 25 by operatives of a special operations unit, with support from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) of the United States.

He said the suspects were arrested at Ibiye, a community near Badagry, while attempting to cross the land border to deliver the consignment in Ghana.

He said at the point of their arrest, 42 blocks of cocaine weighing 47.5 kilogrammes, were found on them.

“A swift follow up operation in their residence at Plot 24/25 OPIC Extension, Petedo road, Agbara, Ogun, led to the recovery of additional eight blocks of the same drug weighing 10kg,” the statement reads.

“This brought the total weight of the cocaine seized from the couple to 57.5 kilograms.”

Babafemi said in a separate raid by the special operations unit, no fewer than 1,100 ampoules of lethal synthetic opioid weighing 6.48kg were recovered.

The NDLEA spokesman said the drugs were recovered from 34-year-old Ikeh Stanley Ifeanyi, a member of a drug trafficking syndicate, at the popular Idumota market in Lagos Island.

He said no less than 790 ampoules of fentanyl weighing 5.273kg were also seized from 48-year-old Chieze Ogechukwu Benjamin, another member of the syndicate, at Idumota market.

“Fentanyl, a lethal synthetic opioid which is 100 times more potent than heroin, is currently responsible for over 70 percent overdose deaths as well as a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the US,” the statement reads.

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Crime

We arrested businessman who excreted 111 wraps of cocaine at Abuja airport, says NDLEA

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Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) have arrested 48-year-old Emmanuel Orjinze, a France-bound businessman, for “ingesting 111 wraps of cocaine”.

In a statement on Sunday, Femi Babafemi, NDLEA spokesperson, said Orjinze claimed to be a Europe-based professional footballer.

He was arrested on May 21 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport during the outward clearance of Airfrance flight 878 from Abuja to Paris.

Babafemi said following a body scan which confirmed he ingested illicit drugs, Orjinze was taken into custody where he excreted 111 pellets of cocaine, over a period of three days, that weighed 1.603 kilogrammes.

“The suspect claimed he does business in the maritime sector while still scouting for any European football club to engage him,” the statement reads.

The statement added that NDLEA officers operating at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos dismantled a drug trafficking syndicate.

“This followed the arrest of four members of the network and the seizure of a total of 8kg of methamphetamine and 7.60kg of Loud, a synthetic strain of cannabis imported from South Africa,” the statement reads.

“The lid was blown off the syndicate when an official within the airport system was intercepted with a backpack and a bag at the departure hall of Terminal 1 of the airport by NDLEA officers with the support of Aviation Security officers on Tuesday 21st May 2024.

“A search of the bags led to the discovery of the illicit substances.

“A swift follow-up operation at Ajao Estate area of Lagos led to the arrest of two other members of the syndicate: Chris Nwadozie and Chinedu Nwaosu.

“Further investigation led to the arrest of another member of the cartel working within the airport system on Saturday 25th May.”

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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