The Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Murtala Muhammadu International Airport, MMIA, Command has handed over a suspect with 2,886 Automated Teller Machine, ATM, cards to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The Deputy Controller of MMIA, Abdulmumin Bako disclosed this during a press briefing on Thursday, adding that four Subscriber Identification Module, SIM, cards were also found with the suspect.
According to him, the suspect, lshaq Abubakar Abubakar with Passport Number A08333717 from Kano State was intercepted as he was about to board an Emirates flight to Dubai.
“At about 1145 hours on Aug. 22, at the departure hall gate ’B’ of the MMIA, Abubakar with Passport Number A08333717 from Kano State travelling to Dubai via Emirates flight was intercepted with 2,863 ATM Cards and 4 sim Cards by our officers on duty.
“The ATM cards and sim cards were carefully concealed in a noodles carton by the suspect.
“The suspect claimed that one Mr. Musliu was assigned to him to facilitate his movement through the checks at the airport by one Mr. Suleiman but due to the diligence of our Officers who insisted on conducting physical examinations, the concealed items were detected”
The comptroller added that the suspect and the items have been handed over to the EFCC for further investigation as directed by the Comptroller General of Customs.
Mr Bako pointed out that the suspect claimed that he was due for evacuation and had bought an evacuation flight ticket for his use.
Customs Legal Adviser, Mr Smart Akande, noted that handing over the suspect to the EFCC showcased agency collaboration as it doesn’t fall within the jurisdiction of custom officers to prosecute but to arrest.
“What we have here is the case file, ATM cards and the noodles carton used in concealing the ATM cards and we are handing them over to the EFCC for further investigation and prosecution,” he said.
The Zonal Head, EFCC, Lagos, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa explained that the ATM cards would have been used for money laundering in the United Arab Emirates, adding that investigations would proceed in earnest.
“We have taken over Abubakar, who is in possession of 2886 ATM cards concealed in a carton of noodle, together with 4 sim cards to investigate and know whether there is a conspiracy, or foreign exchange malpractices.
“We are also going to determine whether banks or bankers are involved in this crime. We will investigate and anyone found wanting will be prosecuted alongside the suspect.”