EFCC arrests Lebanese with $2m cash at Abuja airport

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a Lebanese, Abbas Lakis, with $2million cash.

Lakis, who was picked up at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja penultimate Friday, is being investigated for money laundering.

According to a statement by the Acting Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Tony Orilade, the Lebanese was intercepted following an intelligence report that he had the cash on him.

The statement said the "intelligence report indicated that the undeclared huge sums of monies were aboard the Egypt Airline bringing him from Kano Airport en route Lebanon.

The statement said: "At the point of arrest, a thorough search on his luggage uncovered $2,104,936, £163, 740, and €144,680.

" Other currencies found with Lakis include Riyal 391, CHF 3,420, Lira 435, £109,000, Dirhams 10,135, ¥10,000 and Riyal10, in his possession.

"He will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded."

Meanwhile, the EFCC has arraigned one Bello Na' Allah Yabo, a Deputy Director, Accounts, Ministry of Police Affairs, before Justice A.I. Ogunmoye of the State High Court in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State.

He was arraigned on a 13-count charge bordering on conspiracy, fraudulent diversion of funds and money laundering to the tune of N145,342,063.

The offence is contrary to Sections 383(1) and 390(5) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. C16, Laws of Ekiti State, 2009.

A statement by EFCC said: "Yabo is facing trial alongside his company, Imrana Ventures, for allegedly using his position as a former Pay Officer, Nigeria Police Force, Ekiti State, in 2015 to divert to his personal use, money meant as the emoluments of police officers in the state. The defendant allegedly concealed the proceeds of crime through his company account domiciled in Unity Bank."

"One of the counts reads: 'That you, Bello Na'Allah Yabo, a.k.a. Imrana Ventures, between February 3 and 5, 2015, in Ado-Ekiti, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently converted to your use the sum of N21,899,600.00 (Twenty- One Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety-Nine Thousand, Six Hundred Naira), property of the Nigeria Police Force.'

"The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him. In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, George Chia-Yakua, asked for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody.

"The defence counsel, Y.C, Maikyau, prayed the court to move an application for bail dated November 14, 2018 on behalf of his client.

"However, the prosecution counsel opposed the bail application on the grounds that the defendant had not placed any material before the court to warrant being granted the bail.

"He, therefore, prayed the court to reject the defendant's application for bail in totality.

Justice Ogunmoye, after listening to both counsels, adjourned the matter to December 6, 2018 for ruling on the bail application and January 22 and 23, 2019 for commencement of trial.

The defendant was remanded in Federal Prison, Ado- Ekiti.

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