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Nigeria’s anti-drug agency, NDLEA intercepts counterfeits travellers’ cheques worth $287,623.31

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Nigeria’s anti-drug agency, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has intercepted travellers’ cheques in different foreign currencies with a total value of Two Hundred and Eighty-Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty Three Dollars, Thirty-One Cent ($287, 623.31) at the country’s busiest airport – the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The cheques value is worth over a billion Nigerian Naira. Specifically, ₦1,157,670,469.92

The NDLEA said “the financial instruments suspected to be counterfeits were discovered on Wednesday at NAHCO export shed of the Lagos airport during cargo examination of some consignments meant for exportation to the UK on a cargo flight.”

NDLEA’s Director, Media, and Advocacy, Femi Babafemi, made the disclosure in a statement on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Abuja.

Babafemi in the statement said that at least one suspect identified as Oguma Richard Uchenna has been arrested in connection to the attempt to export the cheques, which were neatly concealed inside 4 bound hardcover books disguised as academic project literature, to the United Kingdom.

 

Oguma Richard Uchenna

“A breakdown of the cheques showed they have monetary values of Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and Twenty Three Dollars, Thirty One Cent ($287, 623.31); One Million Four Hundred and Fifty-Six Thousand Three Hundred Canadian Dollars ($1,456,300) and One Million Two Hundred and Ninety-Seven Thousand Eight Hundred (1,297,800) Euros.’’ The statement partly reads.

Recall that the NDLEA recently announced the arrest of Chief Afam Mallinson Emmanuel Ukatu, an alleged billionaire drug baron behind the N3 billion Tramadol deal linked to suspended Nigeria super-cop, Abba Kyari.

The statement further revealed that operatives of the NDLEA stopped an attempt by drug traffickers to smuggle into Nigeria 10.89 kilograms of cocaine through a Qatar Airways flight at the Murtala Muhammed International airport.

The agency also said it had made arrests in Kaduna state, Ondo state, Akwa Ibom state, and other parts of the West African country.

The agency under the leadership of its current Chairman/Chief Executive, Brigadier-General Buba Marwa, has rejuvenated its operations across the country and increased its tempo in its fight against drug trafficking and consumption and other related crimes with an increased number of seizures and arrests, especially the high profile ones.

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Nigeria: Zamfara state government wants gun licenses for residents over insecurity

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The Commissioner for information in one of Nigeria’s Northern states, Zamfara state says residents in the state can start approaching the police command in the state for gun licences.

The troubled state wants individuals to carry guns to defend themselves against armed gangs of kidnappers causing havoc in the country’s northwest.

The commissioner, Ibrahim Magaji Dosara in statement said the state governor had directed the state police commissioner to issue 500 gun licences in each of the 19 emirates in the state to those wishing to defend themselves.

“Government is ready to facilitate people, especially our farmers to secure basic weapons for defending themselves,” Dosara said.

The state also banned the use of motorcyles and selling of petrol in three districts and one emirate, in areas which are the most affected by banditry, Dosara said. The state is divided into emirates and the emirates into districts.

“Anybody found riding motorbike within the areas is considered as bandits and security agencies are thereby directed to shoot such persons at sight,” said Dosara.

Gunmen, locally called bandits, have been attacking and killing thousands of people in the country’s North-west since 2017. These assailants have attacked rural dwellers, destroyed their farmlands and in many cases only allow them to the farm after they have paid protection fees. They have also targeted travellers across the region in what some analysts say is one of the most lucrative kidnap-for-ransom syndicates in the continent.

Owning a gun in Zamfara needs permission from the state governor and state police commissioner.

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Ex-Liberian rebel warlord charged in US over attempt to obtain citizenship fraudulently

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A former commanding general of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL), a notorious rebel group during the West African country’s civil war, Moses Wright, who had sought asylum in the US has been charged with fraudulently attempting to obtain US citizenship, among other crimes.

According to the United States Justice Department, the 69-year-old Wright lied about his involvement in the persecuting and killing of non-combatants during the war when he applied for US citizenship.

If convicted, Wright faces a maximum possible sentence of 165 years in prison and a $7m (£5.7m) fine, according to the JD.

“The United States will not be a safe haven for human rights violators and war criminals,” the United States Attorney, Jacqueline C. Romero, said on the indictment of Wright.

The indictment of Wright comes after two other former combatants in Liberia’s civil war, Mohammed Jabbateh and Thomas Woewiyu, were convicted in the US for similar offences while a third rebel leader, Sekou Kamara, was arrested earlier this year in New York.

The AFL was responsible for death of an estimated 250,000 Liberians which amounted to around 8% of the population at the time, in the war which started from 1989 to 1997 and in 1999 to 2003, according to a report by the Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission in late 2021, which described the AFL as a “significant violator group found to be behind some of the civil war’s largest scale massacres.”

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