Customs arrest suspects with $2.7m at Lagos airport

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Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos 

Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos

 Murtala Muhammad Airport Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted $2.7m (or N432m) from five suspected money launderers while attempting to travel abroad.

The Public Relations Officers of the command, Mrs. Thelma Williams, told theNews Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Lagos that the arrests were made between January and March 2013.

She said the command also arrested 12 suspects with $13.8m (N2.2bn) dollars from September to December 2012.

Williams said there was no law banning travellers from taking money out of the country but the money must be declared by the traveller before being taken out.

She said, “From $10,000, there must be a declaration. We have a form there on which travellers make a declaration stating the source of the money they are carrying and what that money is meant for. We’ll leave one of the forms here and send a copy to EFCC.

“They would go with a copy because there are some countries that would ask travellers to produce that.

“Sometimes we even have letters from some of these countries. They want to know if so, so person passed through our airport and if he made such a declaration so that it won’t look as if it is a fake declaration.

“You don’t pay any amount of money to declare. The money is yours; it’s just for you to declare. I have so, so amount of money with me that I am travelling out with.

“I think why they are running away from this declaration now is because government is interested. Sometimes it could be money laundering. Government is interested.

“Those that are running away I want to believe are those that are laundering the money.”

Williams advised the travellers to make sure that the amount they would travel with was declared, adding that the money should be changed at a registered  commercial bank and Bureau De Change.

She said the five suspects and the monies involved had been handed over to the EFCC for further interrogation.

Williams said the command also generated N2.3bn in April 2013 up from N2.2bn it recorded in the corresponding period of 2012.

She said agents’ compliance with the law at the airport had resulted to increase in revenue collection.

Source : Punch

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