The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says it has arrested two bank officials and seven other Point of Sale (POS) operators in Abuja and Osun State over suspected naira racketeering.
A statement by the ICPC spokesperson, Azuka Ogugua, said on Friday, that the commission arrested a Branch Service Head of Stanbic IBTC Bank, whose name was not discolsed, at the bank’s branch in Deidei, a suburb of Abuja.
The commission also said its team arrested the Operation Manager of a branch of FCMB in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, as well as seven POS operators in other parts of the state capital.
The ICPC said the bank official arrested in Abuja was detained over the bank’s alleged refusal to upload cash into the branch’s Automated Teller Machines (ATM) even when it was available and people were lining up at the ATMs.
“When the ICPC monitoring team stormed the bank at about 1:30 p.m. to ensure compliance, and demanded an explanation as to why all the ATMs were not dispensing cash, it was informed by the branch’s Head of Operations that the bank just got delivery of the cash.
“However, facts available to the ICPC operatives indicated that the branch took delivery of the cash around 11:58 a.m. and either willfully or maliciously refused to feed the ATMs with the cash,” the statement said.
The commission said its team compelled the bank to load the ATMs with the redesigned naira notes and ensured that they were all dispensing before arresting the official.
It said investigations were still ongoing, adding that it would take appropriate actions after concluding the probe.
In a related development, the statement said its compliance team also arrested the Operation Manager of FCMB branch in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
The ICPC said it observed at the branch that some ATMs were loaded with cash with their wrappers un-removed, thus preventing the cash from being dispensed.
It said the team, therefore, directed that the wrappers be removed, and the cash loaded properly.
However, when a follow-up visit was undertaken the following day to ascertain the level of compliance, the Team discovered that one of the ATMs was still loaded with the wrappers unremoved.
The Operation Manager of the bank was arrested for questioning.
Seven POS operators arrested
Similarly, the commission said it arrested seven Point of Sale (POS) operators as well as a security guard during its ongoing exercise in Osun State.
It said the suspects were arrested for charging exorbitant commissions for cash.
According to the commission, Investigations revealed that the suspects got the money from filling stations that collect new notes from fuel buyers, but they then resell the cash to the public at exorbitant rates.
The ICPC said the arrested persons were helping the commission with information to assist investigations and bust any syndicates involved in the hoarding or sales of the redesigned notes.
PREMIUM TIMES reported on Monday that EFCC arrested suspected hoarders of the new naira notes in Zone 4 and Dei Dei areas of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja between Saturday and Monday.
In the same vein, the State Security Service (SSS) also arrested some currency traders who were capitalising on the scarcity of the new notes.
READ ALSO: IGP orders arrest, prosecution of sellers of new naira note
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefile, had said the bank would collaborate with law enforcement agencies like EFCC and ICPC to check the hoarding of the new currencies.
The CBN also extended the deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 naira notes from 31 January to 10 February.
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