The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Enugu Zonal Office, has filed a motion at a Federal High Court, Enugu, seeking an order for the interim forfeiture of the $2.8 million seized from two men on Thursday, December 20, 2018.
Also filed is an affidavit of urgency for the matter to be heard on December 27, 2018, before a vacation Judge sitting in Port Harcourt.
The Commission on December 20, 2018, arrested two persons, Ighoh Augustine and Ezekwe Emmanuel, along with the money at Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.
The duo said they work for Bankers Warehouse. But EFCC suspected they were money launderers.
The suspects told the EFCC they have been in the business of moving cash for “some notable banks”, for over six years and that the money they had was for Union Bank Plc, located at New Market, Onitsha, Anambra State.
Tony Orilade, the EFCC spokesman, said on Monday, December 24, 2018, that Union Bank or its officials were yet to step forward to establish their claim.
“Efforts are being made to secure warrant for the detention of the suspects pending when they will be charged to court”, he said.
Bankers Warehouse in a statement at the weekend claimed ownership of the money and asked the EFCC to apologise and return the money.
The company which said it is licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria to carry out Cash/Asset movement and Currency Processing said the men arrested were not involved in any money laundering and were carrying out a legitimate movement of cash.
“We hereby state emphatically that the movement of this currency was a legitimate exercise, being carried out on behalf of a legitimate Financial Institution,” the company said..
“We emphasize that our employees are in no way criminals, carrying out any act of illegality as the EFCC has tried to portray. The young men whose character and reputation have been deliberately soiled by the EFCC operatives were conducting their legitimate duties as requested by a bank customer of our company.
“We request for the swift and immediate release of our employees and our customer’s currency, both detained without proper cause.
“We also demand an immediate retraction by the EFCC and an apology issued to our company and our employees whose images have been maligned”.