The Nigerian Customs Service has arrested a Dubai bound passenger, lshaq Abubakar Abubakar, in possession of 2,886 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and four Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards, concealed in noodles.
The NCS said the suspect was nabbed on Thursday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos while attempting to board an Emirates Evacuation flight to Dubai.
The Deputy Controller of Customs, MMIA Area Command, Abdulmumin Bako, who made this disclosure while handing over the suspect to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in Lagos, said the suspect was apprehended during outward screening of passengers.
Bako said as at the time of arrest, the suspect who identified himself as lshaq Abubakar Abubakar, was in possession of 2,886 ATM cards and 4 SIM cards concealed in noodles carton, and arrived Lagos from Kano State.
“At about 11.45 am on August 22, 2020, at the departure hall gate “B’ of the MMIA, Abubakar with passport number A08333717 from Kano State traveling to Dubai via Emirates flight was intercepted with 2,863 ATM and four SIM cards by our officers on duty. The ATM cards and SIM cards were carefully concealed in noodles carton.
“The suspect claimed that Mr Musliu was assigned to him to facilitate his movement through the checks at the airport by Mr Suleiman but due to the diligence of our officers who insisted on conducting physical examination, revealed the concealment,” he said.
He added that the suspect and the items would be handed over to the EFCC for further investigation as directed by the Comptroller General of Customs.
The Customs Legal Adviser, Mr Smart Akande noted that handing over the suspect to EFCC showcased the agency’s collaboration as Customs does not have the jurisdiction to prosecute.
The Lagos Zonal Head, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa said the ATM cards could be used for money laundering or foreign exchange malpractices.
“We have taken over Ishaq Abubakar, who is in possession of 2886 ATM cards concealed in a carton of noddles together with four SIM cards. It is for us here to investigate and know whether the conspiracy is for foreign exchange malpractices or money laundering.
“We are also to determine whether banks or bankers are involved in this crime. We will investigate and anyone found wanting will be prosecuted alongside the suspect.
“That the ATM cards are of different banks is another conspiracy and that raised a lot of questions that needed to be unraveled,” he said.
Bawa also raised fresh alarm of Nigerians selling their bank accounts to fraudsters saying that has been the latest trend in the last couple of years.
KanyiDaily had also reported how the EFCC arrested a Lebanese man, Abbas Lakis, with $2 million cash at the Nnamdi Azikwe Airport, Abuja.