The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in Abuja has arrested a 25-five-year old man, John Okafor, with N48,450,000 during a routine surveillance on the Abaji-Abuja Expressway.
The anti-narcotics agency also arrested a cannabis dealer, Chukwuka Ugbai, with 79 bags of dried weeds weighing 817kg, which tested positive for cannabis.
The agency’s Federal Capital Territory Commander, Mrs. Obijuru Chinyere, said the suspect claimed the money belonged to a bureau de change.
She said: “The suspect was in a commercial bus from Onitsha in Anambra State when N48,450,000 was found in a brown carton concealed in a sack”.
Also found on him was 86,500 CFA Franc.
“He claimed the money belongs to a bureau de change in Onitsha.
“Ugbai was arrested at Bako in Kwali Area Council, following the discovery of his cannabis warehouse”.
Explaining how he came about the huge sum of cash, Okafor said he was on an official assignment on behalf of a bureau de change in Anambra State.
His words: “I work for a bureau de change in Onitsha. I was asked to purchase dollars at the foreign exchange market in Abuja with the money. When we got to Abaji, our vehicle was searched and the money was found. This is all I know”.
Ugbai was caught in his home.
He said: “I can say I was not lucky enough because I did not know how they detected my cannabis warehouse. I sell cannabis to take care of my family and pay my children’s school fees. The officers found 79 bags of cannabis in my warehouse. I pray to get out of this problem. I promise never to do it again”.
The Chairman/Chief Executive of the agency, Ahmadu Giade, urged the public to adhere to the provisions of the anti-money laundering act.
He said: “NDLEA is committed to the fight against illicit drugs and related offences, such as money laundering. It is important to comply with the provisions of the act and embrace the cashless policy.
“The cannabis seizure made at Bako village is part of the drug supply control plan to cut away drugs from the end users. We will be vigilant to identify the violation of the NDLEA Act relating to drug trafficking and money laundering”.
Okafor’s case has been transferred to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for further investigation while Ugbai will soon be arraigned for unlawful possession of cannabis.