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Customs arrests two Lebanese with $890,000 at PH airport

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[FILES] Customs has arrested two Lebanese for allegedly attempting to launder $890,000 through the Port Harcourt airport. Photo: COINGEEK

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Area 1 Command, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, has arrested two Lebanese for allegedly attempting to launder $890,000 through the Port Harcourt airport.

Dina Khalil and Chamseddine Mohammed were arrested at the international wing of the airport after scrutiny of their hand luggage on their way to Lebanon.

The Area Controller of the Command, Auwal Mohammed, while handing over the suspects to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Port Harcourt zone, yesterday for further investigation and prosecution, noted $10,000 as the highest amount of cash that could be moved out of the country under the custom’s law.

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He disclosed that Khalil was in possession of $670,000 while Mohammed was with $220,000 when they were arrested.

“After scrutiny of their hand luggage at the Port Harcourt International Airport, it was uncovered that the two suspects were in possession of $890,000. They were immediately arrested and brought to the command headquarters. Their statements were taken and physical counting of the money in their presence confirmed the above amount.

“The suspects were arrested because they attempted to smuggle the money out of the country without making proper declaration to the officials of NCS,” he stated.

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The customs boss said that after investigation, the cash might be forfeited to the Federal Government as stipulated by law.

Principal Detective of EFCC, Port Harcourt, Macaulay Olayinka, assured that the anti-graft agency would speedily and thoroughly investigate the matter, adding that if found culpable, the suspects would be prosecuted accordingly.

He disclosed that the money recovered from the suspects had been deposited with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Rivers branch, for safe-keeping.

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