The police at Area ‘A’ Command, Lion Building, Campbell Street, Lagos Island, southwest Nigeria, have arrested seven bureau de change agents with fake $10,000 and some British pound sterling.
A police patrol team led by Inspector Akeem Mohammed accosted them on Marina Street, Lagos Island with the fake currency notes in their pockets.
The suspects are Abdulraham Yusuf, 56, Adamu Sanda, 44, Akeem Ajenuyi, 60, Kunle Adewale, 28, Femi Emmanuel, 39, Yusuf Idris and Nurudeen Akinsanya, 40.
During interrogation at the station, they allegedly confessed that they use the fake dollars to dupe unsuspecting members of the public of their genuine dollars and other foreign currencies.
In his alleged confessional statement to the police, Abdulrahman, the alleged kingpin of the fake currency syndicate on Lagos Island, said: “We are bureau de change agents on Broad Street and we reside at 20, 22 and 24, Abibu Oki Street, Lagos Island.
“We use the fake currencies to dupe unsuspecting customers who come to us to change their genuine currencies into naira and we also supply foreign currencies in large quantities to travellers at the airport, Ikeja, Lagos who transport the money to Europe.”
Continuing, he said: “After negotiating the exchange rate of a dollar to naira with our customers, we would collect the original currencies from them and pretend to go and bring the naira equivalent, but suddenly, we would change our mind and return fake currencies back to the customers and tell them that their demand is too high and we can’t afford to buy it. But unknown to them, we would have swapped the original notes with our fake ones.
“After they had left, we would share the original currencies and relocate from the spot to another place and hide for some days until our informants on the ground inform us that there is no problem before we would return. We had just received supply from Toyin and Muyi on Marina Street, Lagos when we were arrested.
“We promise to stop the illicit business if we are set free.”
After investigation by Corporal Adeyemi Tunde and his team, the suspects were charged before a Tinubu Magistrate’s Court on a four-count charge of felony.
The offences, the prosecutor Supol A. C. Orti said contravened sections 409 and 370 of the criminal laws of Lagos state, 2011.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges, and Magistrate Miss A. O. Awogboro admitted them to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.
She adjourned the matter till 6 May, 2013 for mention.
The defendants were moved to Ikoyi prison when they could not perfect their bail conditions in good time.