The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFFC, has arraigned a Bureau de change operator who allegedly laundered the sum of $1.6 million for smugglers.
According to a statement by the EFCC, the defendants who are Chris Ogbonna, Sulaiman Jibbo alongside their two firms – Kur and Sule Nigeria Enterprises; and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited was arraigned on five counts before Justice Ayokunle Faji.
EFCC argued that the defendant ought to have reasonably known that the $1.6m, which they allegedly removed from jurisdiction sometime in 2017, “formed parts of proceeds of unlawful activity, to wit: smuggling”.
On his own, Ogbonna and Sunchrist Trans Nigeria Limited were also accused of transferring a total of N607.2m, being proceeds of smuggling, to Kur and Sule Enterprises.
Howver, Jibbo was accused of making a cash payment of $52,287 to one Fredrick, “which sum exceeded the amount authorised by law”.
The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Kufre Uduak, told the court that the defendants acted contrary to sections 18(c), 15(2), 1(a), and 16(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and they were liable to punishment under sections 15(3) and 16(2)(b) of the same law.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.