The suspects were arrested in Kano, Borno, Abuja, Lagos, Sokoto, Adamawa, Kaduna and Zamfara, following an operation approved by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2020.
The arrest was carried out in an operation coordinated by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Department of State Services (DSS), Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
A list of 957 suspects comprising bureau de change (BDC) operators, gold miners and sellers, and other business persons is still being acted upon.
Some of the BDC operators arrested include Baba Usaini, Abubakar Yellow (Amfani), Yusuf Ali Yusuf (Babangida), Ibrahim Shani, Auwal Fagge, and Muhammad Lawan Sani, a gold dealer.
Umar Gwandu, spokesperson to Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), on Monday, said criminal charges bordering on terrorism were already being prepared against the suspects while investigation continues.
Although the spokesperson declined to give further details, he said the prosecution of the suspects “will commence as quickly as possible”.
But all courts across the country have been shut since April 6 owing to the nationwide strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) over financial autonomy for the judiciary.