Two Nigerians arrested for allegedly laundering N175 million in foreign currencies

Murtala Muhammad Airport, Lagos
Murtala Muhammad Airport, Lagos

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has arrested two persons for allegedly smuggling €325,640 and $30,000 ( making a total of about N175 million) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Nicholas Edos and Prince Hallowell, returning from Austria and Greece respectively, were intercepted during an inward screening of passengers on a Turkish airline flight.

The NDLEA in a statement on Wednesday said the “suspected laundered money” was hidden inside envelopes and shoes. While Mr. Edos was caught with €279,190, Mr. Hallowell was found with €46,450 and $30,000.

But the suspects said they received the money from their Europe-based friends to give to their different families and relatives in Nigeria.

Edos Nicholas
Edos Nicholas

Muhammad Abdallah, Chairman of NDLEA, said the arrest was a suspected case of money laundering, adding that it had been handed over to Victoria Egbase, the Director of Assets and Financial Investigation of the agency, for further investigation.

“Criminal groups seek to conceal the origin of illegally obtained money,” said Mr. Abdallah, a retired colonel.

“It is pertinent therefore for us to trace the origin of the money and prevent the introduction of criminal funds into the economy.

“Consequently, I have directed that the case be meticulously investigated.”

Preliminary investigation, according to the NDLEA, showed that both suspects are frequent travellers who are the target of International Drug Trafficking Organisations.

“Besides, their sources of income must be verified,” the agency said.

Mr. Edos, who said he was working in a bakery in Austria, said the money found on him did not belong to him.

The seized money
The seized money

“I was given by different people in Europe to give to their relatives. I have been living in Vienna Austria for over 15 years,” the NDLEA quoted Mr. Edos, who hails from Edo State, as saying.

The agency also quoted Mr. Hallowell as saying the money belonged to people sending money to their families back in Nigeria.

“I live in Athens and I work in an African shop,” Mr. Hallowell said in the statement.

“I have lived there for 12 years. The money belongs to many people and some of them are my friends.”

Mr. Abdallah said the cases would be thoroughly investigated and necessary action taken as laundered funds could be used to finance terrorism and distort the economy among others.


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  • tj

    Please thread softly. . . it is important to investigate however, do understand that undocumented and unbanked people in diaspora has no other way to get fund to their families back home but through such travelling “friends”.

    • Deansmart

      But they do have names of the sender and the receiver of those funds with the amounts to give to each receiver. there are many ways they can confirm if the money is actually from drug

  • MammanJiyaVatsa

    Ask the Austrian authorities to trace their phone calls…. any of the calls go to any South American country, or Asia, grab them…. !

  • Mamapikin

    It doesn’t even matter where the money comes from, it will be confiscated, because that’s what the law says. Investigation to establish the origin of the dough is just a second stage if the matter

    • Sanssouci

      Yup, u must declare to customs anything above 10k$, how someone who claims to have lived in Austria for 15 years doesn’t know that is unbelievable to me