By Egufe Yafugborhi & Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT—Thirteen women allegedly selling the country’s currency were arrested by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Rivers State Police Command in a joint sting operation in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
It was disclosed that over N2 million was recovered from them by the Police in the operation carried out at Garrison, Rumuokoro, Waterlines and Eleme areas.
The CBN, in a drive to forestall illicit sale of the Naira notes, had partnered with the operatives of the state Police Command and Department of the State Services, DSS, to clamp down on illegal Naira vendors in the state.
The Command disclosed this yesterday, while briefing newsmen on the recent clamp down on individuals who engage in unlawful business on the country’s currency.
The Police Public Relations Officer of the Command, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, who addressed the press on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Zaki, said the operation was in line with the CBN’s Act, Sections 20 and 21, which makes it an offence punishable by imprisonment for any person to falsify, hawk, sell or trade, make or counterfeit any bank note or coin, which is a legal tender in the country.
Omoni said: “In the operation, 13 suspects, all women, were arrested in different parts of Port Harcourt and are currently held in State CID, Port Harcourt, helping the Police in investigation. At the end, those found culpable will face justice.
“On the whole, a total of N2,937,430, consisting of various denominations, were recovered from the suspects. As already mentioned, investigation is on to ascertain the source of the new notes.”
Omoni, however, stated that the clamp down will be a continuous operation, warning that the act of spraying Naira notes at events, soiling and writing on them were serious offences against the legal tender.