Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday recovered N449 million in an abandoned bureau de change (BDC) in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Wilson Uwujaren, spokesman of the commission, disclosed this in a statement, saying the commission acted based on a tip-off from a whistleblower.
He said the money, which was stashed in several ‘Ghana-Must-Go bags’, were in N500 and N1000 denominations.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Office, in the evening of Friday, April 7, 2017 uncovered yet another large sum of suspected laundered money to the tune of N448,850,000 (Four hundred and forty-eight million, eight hundred and fifty thousand naira) in a shop at LEGICO Shopping Plaza, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos,” the statement read.
“The money stashed in several Ghana-Must-Go bags were in N500 and N1000 denominations, hidden in a shop awaiting conversion into foreign currency.
“Acting on a tip-off by a concerned whistleblower, operatives of the Commission swooped on the shopping complex and sought the identity of the owners of two shops, LS 64 and LS 67 which were under lock and key.
“The shops had signages of Bureau de Change. Inquiries about the owner of shop 64 indicated that he had not been seen for a long time, as they claimed the shop had not been opened for businesses for close to two years.”
Uwujaren said after the owner of the shop refused to respond to calls, the attention of some traders was drawn to the situation and they expressed shock.
“Several calls were put to the owner of shop 67, but there was no response,” he said.
“The attention of the plaza’s chairman and some traders were drawn in order to force the shops open. There was no money found in shop 67, but in shop 64 heaps of Ghana-Must-Go bags were found loaded on the floor of the shop. When the bags were unzipped they were found to contain bundles of naira notes totaling N448,850,000.
“Traders interviewed at the premises claimed they were not aware that such money was housed inside the shop, as the place hardly opens for business.
“The commission is investigating the matter in order to unravel the owner and source of the money.”
The development comes less than a month after the agency found N49 million in five sacks at the Kaduna international airport.