BY Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe
A Dubai-bound passenger, Ishaq Abubakar, has been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission following his arrest with 2,886 Automated Teller Machine cards and four Subscriber Identification Module cards concealed inside cartons of noodles.
Our correspondent learnt that suspect with passport number A08333717 was arrested by the personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, while travelling to Dubai, United Arab Emirates on August 22, 2020, via the Emirates evacuation flight.
The Deputy Controller, Enforcement, NCS, Abdulmumin Bako, while handing the suspect to the EFCC during a media briefing in Lagos on Thursday, said Abubakar was arrested at the Departure Hall of the airport.
Bako, who represented the Customs Area Comptroller, A. Ma’aji, said, “Officers of the Nigeria Customs Service at the Departure Hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, on August 22, 2020, intercepted the suspect with 2,886 ATM cards and four SIM cards, which he carefully concealed in packs of noodles.
“The suspect, who claimed to have come from Kano to travel to Dubai aboard the Emirates evacuation flight, was seen with one Mr Musliu, who was assigned to facilitate his movement through the airport checks, but the diligence of our officers, who insisted on conducting a physical examination, revealed the concealment.”
The Lagos Zonal Head, EFCC, AbdulRasheed Bawa, while receiving the suspect, said the ATM cards could be used for money laundering or foreign exchange malpractices, adding that everyone involved in the conspiracy would be arrested and prosecuted by the commission.
He stated, “On behalf of the commission and the acting Chairman, Mr Muhammed Umar, we have taken over Ishaq Abubakar and I can assure you that we are going to investigate the matter thoroughly and unveil everybody involved in the syndicate.
“There are several possibilities; there is an element of conspiracy, foreign exchange malpractices and money laundering and indeed, banks and bankers are involved.”