Three Nigeriens were yesterday paraded by men of the Nigerian Customs for trying to smuggle N15 million cash into the country.
The money was hidden under the seats and footmats of a Honda Academy vehicle with the three nationals of Niger Republic accompanying it.
The three suspects, Abdulrasheed Usman, 22, his brother Salisu, 21, and Bishir Abdullahi,30, were paraded before newsmen in Katsina by the Comptroller of Customs in-charge of Katsina/Kaduna Area Command, Yusuf Umar.
He confirmed that nothing was found in the trunk of the car with Nigerian registration number, ABUJA 602 AE.
He said that the suspects could be financial agents of a Bureau De Change operator. He stated that they took a bush path into Nigeria to evade scanning machines of the Customs Service at Jibia international border.
He stated that the suspects contravened the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) of 2004 and the Foreign Exchange (Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions) Act by failing to declare amount to officers of the Customs.
According to him, the relevant provisions of the Act were aimed at prohibiting financing of terrorism and laundering of the proceeds of a crime or an illegal act.
“The claim of these suspects in this case that they are financial agents to Yaura BDP of Wapa, Kano, makes them liable. Who is Yaura BDP, Wapa? Our investigation is ongoing to ascertain the depth of involvement and occupational identity of the suspects.
“The alibi of collecting the money in Jibiya while not travelling with a Nigerian companion cannot hold water. It is my sincere belief that the Nigeria Customs Service and other relevant sister agencies will get to the root of this matter so as to ascertain the purpose for the movement of this money,” the Comptroller reportedly said in a prepared statement made available to reporters.