EFCC probes attempt by 2 Lebanese to smuggle $890,000

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has begun investigations into an alleged attempt by two Lebanese nationals to smuggle 890,000 dollars (N338 million) out of the country.

The spokesperson of the commission, Dele Oyewale who disclosed this in a statement said the suspects, identified as Dina Jihad Khali and Chamseddine Waell Mohmmed, were arrested by customs operatives at the Port-Harcourt International Airport and handed over to the commission for further investigation.

Oyewale said while handing over the two suspects, Mohammed Olayinka, the Customs Area Controller, disclosed that Khali and Mohammed were both arrested while trying to board a flight to Lebanon.

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The NCS Rivers Port 1 Command Public Relations Officer, Oscar Ivara, had confirmed the arrest of the Lebanese noting that based on the directive of Nigerian Customs Service headquarters, the money has been deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Khali with the passport number LR152975 (Republic of Lebanon) was arrested with $670,000 dollars while Mohammed with Passport Number LR0356598 (Republic of Lebanon) had $220,000 dollars.”

He further disclosed that the money recovered from the suspects, which they failed to declare to customs, had been deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Rivers State Branch, for safe keeping.

He added that the Principal Detective Superintendent, Macaulay Olayinka, who received the suspects on behalf of the Zonal Head, thanked officers of the Customs Area Command for the synergy that exist between the Command and the EFCC.

He assured that investigation would commence in earnest, adding that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation had been concluded.