NAIRA SWAP CRISIS: Police Arrest Two Suspects For Allegedly Possessing, Selling of Counterfeited Naira Notes

The Police Operatives serving in Igbo-Eze South Division of Enugu State Command have arrested one Joseph Chinenye and his cohort, Onyeka Kenneth Ezeja for allegedly possessing and making sales of counterfeit naira notes to the gullible public.

This is a sequel to the warnings by the Central Bank of Nigeria against suspected and potential perpetrators of such acts.

Mr. Joseph Chinenye aged 39 and Onyeka Kenneth Ezeja aged 29 hail from Iheakpu-Awka in Igbo-Eze South LGA and Onicha Enugu-Ezike in Igbo-Eze North LGA, respectively.

The duo was allegedly in possession of suspected counterfeited one hundred and eighty (N180,000) pieces of the newly redesigned one thousand naira (N1,000) notes.

According to a release by the spokesperson of the State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, says a preliminary investigation shows, among other things, that the notes, which are in three separate batches, bear the same serial numbers of A/34:282656, A/46:578759, and 8/93:852942; while the suspects claimed to have secured the counterfeited Naira notes from an unidentified woman in Benin, Edo State.

‘’They confessed to attempting to sell the notes to a POS operator, who rejected them before the Operatives arrested them at a Filling Station in Ibagwa-Aka community of Igbo-Eze LGA, where they used the notes to purchase petrol. The duo will be arraigned in court upon consolidation and conclusion ion of an investigation into the case by the State CID Enugu.” Ndukwe said

According to the release, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Ammani, has reassured the commitment of the Police to fish out and bring to the book, criminal elements hellbent on perpetrating such acts of economic sabotage.

He, therefore, urged the general public to support the Police in this quest, while being vigilant and wary of who or how they obtain and carry out transactions with Naira notes, especially the new ones.

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned against the activities of persons who sell the newly redesigned banknotes and those who flagrantly abuse the legal tender by hurling wads of Naira notes in the air and stamping on the currency at social functions.

The statement read in parts: “We have equally noticed the queues at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) across the country and an upward trend in the cases of people stocking and aggregating the newly introduced banknotes they serially obtain from ATMs for reasons best known to them.

“Also worrisome are the reported cases of unregistered persons and non-bank officials swapping banknotes for members of the public, purportedly on behalf of the CBN.

“We wish to state unequivocally that, contrary to the practice of these unpatriotic persons, it is unlawful to sell the Naira, hurl (spray), or stamp on the currency under any circumstance whatsoever.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Section 21(3) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act 2007 (As amended) stipulates that “spraying of, dancing or matching on the Naira or any note issued by the Bank during social occasions or otherwise howsoever shall constitute an abuse and defacing of the Naira or such note and shall be punishable under the law by fines or imprisonment or both.”


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