A Nigerian man has been arrested with 4.6 million Euros, an equivalence of N1.05 billion at the Diori Hamani Airport in Niamey, the capital of Niger.
The man was headed to Dubai in the United Arab Emirate when he was apprehended by the Nigerian police officials.
According to the officials, the increasing rate at which Nigerians traffick huge sums of money in cash through Niger is becoming worrisome.
On Saturday, August 29, 2015, a Niger local media reported that the National Union of Customs Officers had a press briefing where they “denounced the request of the Nigerian authorities” of returning the seized money.
The Customs official said there had been several similar seizures mainly in dollars, euros and pounds sterling, in Niamey from people trafficking money from Nigeria.
The spokesperson of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Emeka Obua, as well as The Nigerien embassy, had yet to confirm the report.
A senior official of the Nigerian Customs Service, however, told Punch that the agency had not been informed about the development.
“As we speak now, the matter hasn’t been drawn to our attention. This is a diplomatic matter that has to be treated with caution in order to avoid diplomatic row between both countries.
“The identity of the person in question has not been established and it is the Nigerian embassy in Niger that would verify that.
“After that is done, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be notified before other security agencies would be invited on the matter.
“So, it is not something that the Customs will jump into and start investigating because the Customs in Niger don’t report directly to us in Nigeria,” the senior official said.