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Nigerian caught with N1.1bn cash in Niger

The ongoing war against corruption and probes into corruption activities of former public office holders is sending shivers down the spines of a lot of people who are seeking escape routes to avoid prosecution, and probably jail time.

A Nigerian man suspected to be one of such persons was arrested in neighbouring Niger Republic with 4.6m Euros (N1.05bn) in cash on his way out of that country to Dubai in the United Arab Emirate.

He was arrested at the Diori Hamani Airport in Niamey, the country’s capital.
The Nigerien police which said they suspected that the man was fleeing with the money to escape the anti-corruption campaign of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, also expressed worry that there had been an upsurge in the number of Nigerians trafficking huge sums of money in cash through its borders.

The arrest of the Nigerian has been a big news item in the Nigerien newspapers and television stations.

But authorities in Nigeria have claimed ignorance of the seizure in the neighbouring country though the Customs officers in Niger were already kicking against repatriating the cash to Nigeria.

Reports monitored in Niger said the National Union of Customs Officers at a press briefing “denounced the request of the Nigerian authorities” to return the seized cash.

A Customs official said there had been several similar seizures in Niamey from people trafficking money from Nigeria, putting the amount that had been so seized in several billions of naira.

They said the seized money had been mainly in dollars, euros and pounds sterling, asking the Niger authorities to allow the Customs officials to do their job without interference.