Operatives of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) have arrested a passenger, Mr. Ikebude Akoma, for being in possession of US$456,000 in cash while about to board his flight to Doha en route China
The private Vanguard newspaper Tuesday quoted NCS spokesperson Thelma Williams as saying the passenger was apprehended Monday for not being able to explain the source of the huge cash.
”During the outward clearance of Qatar Airways flight to China via Doha, our officials reported that one passenger identified as Ikebude Akoma with passport number A04073478 declared US$456,000 at E Wing screening hall of the Lagos Airport.
“On further investigation, it was discovered that the passenger had no proper document like the bureau de change or bank slip.” she added.
Williams said the passenger had been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigations and necessary action.
It was the latest in a case of passengers being arrested at the nation’s airports for trying to carry out huge amounts of money.
Last Wednesday, a man with an undeclared US$130,000 in cash was arrested by security agents at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport in northern Nigeria.
The EFCC later identified him as Bashir Abdu, a Nigerian resident in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The previous week, Aminu Lamido, the eldest son of Gov. Sule Lamido of Nigeria’s northern Jigawa State, was arrested at the same airport for not declaring US$40,000.
There are growing concerns in Nigeria at the rate in which people have been caught trying to take huge amounts of cash out of the country.
EFCC Chairman Ibrahim Lamorde recently disclosed that about 15.5 billion naira (US$94 million) had been intercepted at the county’s airports this year, alleging that the funds were proceeds of corruption.