The Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), have intercepted $6m (N2.7 billion at the official rate of N425/$1) of fake United States dollars from transborder currency traffickers.
The Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Dera Nnadi, disclosed this on Thursday, February 2, 2023, while addressing journalists.
Giving details of the fake dollars, he said that all the currencies have the same serial number.
He added that two suspects were arrested in connection with the fake dollars.
“On January 31, 2023, Customs officers at Gbaaji checkpoint, intercepted a vehicle carrying two passengers. And upon intercepting them, they discovered these currencies your seeing here which are fake US dollars.
“When we counted them it was worth $6,000,000 in $100 wraps. But it will only take the eye of a trained officer to dictate that they are fake. One of the landmarks we discovered was that they bear the same serial numbers.
“Besides that, it will be very difficult for you to discover that they were fake. Few people were arrested with regards to this.”
He, however, said that the suspects tried bribing the officers with genuine $150,000 but the officers declined the offer.
Nnadi said the command also intercepted 39,000 litres of Petroleum Motor Spirit with a duty-paid value of N9 million also about to be taken out of the country.
“Also intercepted was 30 litres each of 1,300 jereycans of PMS along the creeks. We have two suspects for the fake currency and two suspects for the PMS.”
He said the command intercepted six international passports bearing the same pictures but with different names and nationals.
“Few hours after this other passengers in a different vehicle, upon searching them and their baggage, we discovered some international passports.
“These passports you’re seeing here are for the Malta Republic. But one unique thing about them is that all the passports, six of them bear the photograph of the same person but with different names.
“The passports were from the Republic of Malta bear the photographs of someone supposedly a European lady but bearing different names for all the six passports.”
According to him, “The same lady also had six international drivers’ licenses bearing her photographs but with six different names.
“The significance of this is that we are dealing with a very dangerous syndicate here that moves across the border.
“You all know that the election is around the corner and we also know what the country is going through a lot of which the military is doing its best to curtail.
“With these developments around here is a dangerous trend. The passports were also going out of the country and we were intercepted at Gbatrume.
He also said that the command intercepted 550 pieces of Donkey skin with a duty-paid value of N11 million.
The Seme Customs boss said that the command intercepted 93 prices of fake herbicide with a duty paid value of N491 million.