Bid by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to unmask the owners of the abandoned N449, 000,860 which was abandoned in a shop in Lagos, may have started yielding dividends as a suspect, believed to be Bureau De Change (BDC) operator and who is in the know of the abandoned money has threatened to ‘reveal the real identity’ of the owners of the money.
The suspect, who is alleged to be a BDC operator, also debunked media reports that the recovered money had been stashed in the shop for over two years, insisting that the money was actually moved in on Thursday (April 6).
The suspect also told EFCC operatives upon surrendering himself on April 10 that it would be suicidal for the “owner of the money to abandon the money”. The EFCC had on April 7 swooped on an abandoned shop located in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) complex, Legico, Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island, Lagos, where reportedly recovered N449, 000, 860 which was hidden inside it.
It was reported that the sting raid was made possible after the commission received a tip off from a whistleblower that a huge sum of money was hidden in the shop, which the detectives confirmed on getting to the shop.
Recounting how the recovered money came into being, the suspect who, according to an EFCC source, is currently cooling off his heels in the anti-graft custody in Lagos, had said he was prepared to reveal the identity of the owner (s) of the money should the owner fail to own up to the ownership of the money.
The EFCC source, who confided in this newspaper, further stated that the suspect after surrendering himself, had threatened to “open up on the real owner of the money, after insisting that that would have happened after the expiration of April 10.”
The source said: “After we (EFCC) busted the N449, 000,860 which was abandoned in a Lagos shop, we intensified our dragnet to unveil the owner of the money, a suspect emerged surrendering himself to the commission by insisting that he knows the owner of the money. This development made us detain him and to further gathered more information concerning the money.
“The suspect made us to understand that the money was apparently moved in on Thursday (April 6) contrary to reports in the media that it had been moved into the shop for over two years.
The suspect said this is untrue. “Surprisingly, the suspect even in the course of interrogation, threatened to reveal the owner of the money should he fail to show up on Tuesday (April 10).”
Meanwhile, efforts to get EFCC’s spokesman, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, to confirm the story proved abortive. Text messages also sent to two of his telephones lines were similarly not answered as at the time of going to press.
This curiously made the commission to be on the lookout should anybody come up for the money.” The EFCC source also told this newspaper that the suspect, who was already cooperating with the antigraft agency, said the owner of the “money ordered the movement of the cash on Thursday” with the intention of getting it converted into foreign currency.
“It is instructive to note that the suspect also opened up that one of the reasons why the money was moved on Thursday in anticipation to get it converted was because the owner was convinced that the money and the shop are safe due to the presence of the Nigerian Air Force complex, which serves as a strong cover up and security,” the EFCC source added further.