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Bureau De Change operators arraigned over $1.6m laundering

Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arraigned 2 Bureau de Change operators for allegedly laundering $1.6m, said to be proceeds of smuggling.

The defendants, Chris Ogbonna and Sulaiman Jibbo, were arraigned alongside 2 firms, Kur and Sule Nigeria Enterprises; and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited on a five counts charge.

Ogbonna and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited were also accused of transferring a total of ₦607.2m, being proceeds of smuggling, to Kur and Sule Enterprises.

Jibbo, on his part, was accused of making a cash payment of $52,287 to one Fredrick, “which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law.”

EFCC Counsel, Mr Kufre Uduak, told the court that the defendants acted contrary to sections 18(c), 15(2), 1(a), and 16(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and they were liable to punishment under sections 15(3) and 16(2)(b) of the same law.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Subsequently, their lawyer, Mr Chuks Nwana informed has filed a bail application on grounds that the offence was bailable.

The presiding judge, Justice Ayokunle Faji admitted each of them to bail in the sum of ₦10m with two sureties in like sum.

Among, other conditions, the judge barred the defendants from travelling outside the country, with an order that the EFCC should notify the Nigeria Immigration Service about them and to meet up with the bail conditions within 10 days or be remanded by the Nigerian Correctional Services.

Subsequently, the matter has been adjourned till July 10 for report of compliance with the bail conditions.

Wahab Akinlade

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