The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) yesterday, nabbed a 52-year-old Nigerian woman of British descent for alleged currency trafficking.
The suspect, Sarah Olukoya was arrested while attempting to board a London-bound Virgin Atlantic flight at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at Ikeja, Lagos.
She was said to have been found with $114,245 and €2,020 cash inside 13 white envelopes in her luggage.
NDLEA Director of Assets and Financial Investigations (DAFI), Mrs Victoria Egbase, stated that the suspect was arrested on grounds of suspected currency trafficking. “The suspect was found with $114,245 and €2,020 that were not declared in accordance with the law at the airport,” Egbase said.
Olukoya, born to a Nigerian father and Scottish mother, who was in possession of both Nigerian and British international passports claimed that she earned the money legitimately.
In her words, “I am an architect based in London. The money is part of rent paid to me by tenants in a property I inherited. It is also part of architectural and interior decoration work I did as well as loans from family members. I used to send money through the bank but the new regulation made me to carry cash. I intend to use the money to pay my children’s school fees and my medical bills”.
She however failed to provide any evidence to support her claim, which according to NDLEA, suggests trafficking. Though the money hasn’t been liked with narcotics, Olukoya’s failure to declare it is an offence according to Nigerian laws.
Section 2 (5) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2012 as amended states: “Any person who falsely declares or fails to make a declaration to the Nigerian Customs Service pursuant to Section 12 of the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, Cap. F34, LFN, 2004 is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to forfeit the undeclared funds or negotiable instrument or to imprisonment to a term of not less than two years or both”.
Source: The Nation
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