The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has launched a manhunt for the owner of N448.85 million discovered in a shopping plaza in Lagos State.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), spokesman of the commission in Lagos, Mr. Sam Amadin, on Saturday, said the agency was making efforts to reach the owner of the complex, with a view to knowing who rented the said shop 64.
He said: “The shopping plaza, from preliminary investigation, was built by estate developers. From the developers, we will get the owner of the money.”
”The people around the complex know the owner of the money. The place has not been in use for a long time, the owner only sneaks into the place and keep the money. We will find the owner very soon.“
The commission, on Friday in a statement confirmed the recovery of N448,85million in a shop at the LEGICO Shopping Plaza, in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the commission, disclosed this in a statement, saying the commission acted based on a tip-off from a whistleblower.
He said the money, which was stashed in several ‘Ghana-Must-Go bags’, were in N500 and N1000 denominations.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Office, in the evening of Friday, April 7, 2017 uncovered yet another large sum of suspected laundered money to the tune of N448,850,000 (Four hundred and forty-eight million, eight hundred and fifty thousand naira) in a shop at LEGICO Shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos,” the statement read.
“The money stashed in several Ghana-Must-Go bags were in N500 and N1000 denominations, hidden in a shop awaiting conversion into foreign currency.
“Acting on a tip-off by a concerned whistleblower, operatives of the Commission swooped on the shopping complex and sought the identity of the owners of two shops, LS 64 and LS 67 which were under lock and key. “The shops had signages of Bureau de Change. Inquiries about the owner of shop 64 indicated that he had not been seen for a long time, as they claimed the shop had not been opened for businesses for close to two years.”
Uwujaren said after the owner of the shop refused to respond to calls, the attention of some traders was drawn to the situation and they expressed shock.
“Several calls were put to the owner of shop 67, but there was no response,” he said.
“The attention of the plaza’s chairman and some traders were drawn in order to force the shops open. There was no money found in shop 67, but in shop 64 heaps of Ghana-Must-Go bags were found loaded on the floor of the shop. When the bags were unzipped they were found to contain bundles of naira notes totaling N448,850,000.
“Traders interviewed at the premises claimed they were not aware that such money was housed inside the shop, as the place hardly opens for business.
“The commission is investigating the matter in order to unravel the owner and source of the money.”