Operatives of the of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), yesterday arrested a Bureau De Change operator and five other suspected money laundering syndicate for swallowing $156,000 (N31, 083, 000.00) at Excel Oriental Hotel along Airport Road, Lagos.
According to reports, the six suspects were arrested in the hotel while they were busy swallowing $156,000 with the plan of exporting the money to Brazil.
Chairman of NDLEA, Ahmadu Giade, said the six suspected members of the group, including a Bureau de Change operator, had been apprehended in connection with swallowing $156,000.
He vowed that the agency would track down suspected drug traffickers and currency launderers in a bid to rid the society of crimes.
According to him, operators of bureau de change who fail to work within the confines of the law establishing them shall be severely sanctioned.
NDLEA Commander, Joint Task Force, Mr. Adeniyi Muyiwa, gave the names of the suspects as Nwokenta Kingsley, 37, a Bureau de change operator, also known as Buchito; Onwuasoanya Augustine Chukwuemeka, 54, who lives in Brazil and Christian Okoli Ifor, 35, also based in Brazil.
Others are Nwokenta Emmanuel Maduakolam, 31; Ezenwa Ikenna, 28, a specialist in wrapping; and Ezenwa Uzoma, a 33-year-old hotel manager.
He stressed that an interim investigation report by the anti-narcotics agency revealed that Mr. Nwokenta Kingsley, a.k.a Buchito was the brain behind the suspected criminal act.
Muyiwa explained that Mr. Kingsley allegedly supplied $120,000 to be swallowed and illicitly exported to Brazil.
“Onwuasoanya Augustine Chukwuemeka swallowed 74 wraps of dollars amounting to one hundred and eleven thousand ($111,000). Christian Okoli Ifor who resides in Brazil had forty-five thousand dollars which he wanted to swallow. Nwokenta Emmanuel who is the manager of Amazon Bureau de Change played a supportive role in the alleged crime. Ezenwa Ikenna was hired to wrap the money,” Muyiwa said.