By Ayodele Oluwafemi
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has pledged to investigate banks and bankers culpable after its operatives apprehended one Ishaq Abubakar at the point of taking 2,886 ATM Cards to Dubai.
Abubakar was apprehended on August 22 by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos State with the ATM cards concealed in a pack of noodles.
EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, on Thursday, said the suspect had been handed over to the commission for investigation.
Oyewale said, “The Customs Deputy Comptroller, Enforcement, Abudulmumuni Bako, who represented the Customs Area Comptroller, A. Ma’aji, said that the suspect, who claimed to have come from Kano to travel to Dubai aboard the Emirate Evacuation flight, was seen with someone who was assigned to facilitate his movement through the airport checks.
“Officers of the Customs service intercepted the suspect with 2,886 ATM cards and four SIM cards, which he carefully concealed in the pack of Noodles.
“This raised the suspicion of the officers who insisted he should be physically and thoroughly checked after the scan machine had revealed he was carrying packs of noodles.”
The anti-graft agency noted that it would investigate elements of foreign exchange malpractices and money laundering, including the probable role of banks and bankers in Abubakar’s possession of 2,886 ATM cards.
The commission said, “There are a number of possibilities. There is an element of conspiracy, foreign exchange (FOREX) malpractices and money laundering.
“That the ATM cards are of different banks is another conspiracy and that raised a lot of questions that needed to be unravelled.
“We are also to determine whether banks or bankers are involved in this crime. We will investigate and anyone found wanting will be prosecuted alongside the suspect.”