Debit cards smuggling latest money laundering technique — NDLEA

Bank atm-001

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has warned travellers smuggling multiple Automated Teller Machine cards to desist from the act or face the law.

In a statement on Saturday, the NDLEA described as money laundering, an arrangement of using multiple debit cards to withdraw money from multiple bank accounts to circumvent the minimum amount of daily withdrawal.

‎”That criminal plan will not work because we shall continue to seize such cards and arrest the perpetrators at all entry and exit points,” said Ahmadu Giade, NDLEA’s Chairman.

Mr. Giade spoke following the arrest of two travellers, at the weekend,‎ with 89 debit cards at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.

Pauline Nweke and Frank Egesiokwu were arrested with 64 and 25 debit cards respectively during the screening of passengers on an Ethiopian Airline flight to China.

Mr. Nweke, an Onitsha-based trader, said that the debit cards belonged to his friends, relatives, and business partners.

“I was on my way to China to buy goods when NDLEA officers arrested me with 65 debit cards,” said Mr. Nweke, 40, who hails from Enugu State and is married with two children.

Victoria Egbase, Director of Assets and Financial Investigation at NDLEA, said that preliminary investigation showed that the suspects opened various bank accounts to facilitate withdrawal of money outside the country.

Mr. Giade said the suspects would be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for further investigation.

The duo’s arrest came less than one week after Pascal Udeh, another Onitsha-based trader, was arrested at the Lagos airport with 108 debit cards enroute China.

“The arrests is an indication that smuggling of debit cards abroad is one of the latest money laundering techniques employed to evade financial regulations,” said Mr. Giade.

Last April, the Central Bank of Nigeria‎ reviewed the foreign exchange spending, reducing the daily cash withdrawal limit for ATM users to US$300 from a previous US$2,500.


Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application

TEXT AD: To place a text-based advert here. Call Willie - +2347088095401

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.