Fake Currency Scam: Court orders seizure of over N20m traced to banker

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The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the seizure of funds and assets that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, traced to a banker, Mr Aleshe Ayodeji, who allegedly deposited fake currencies worth over N20million, with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

EFCC alleged that Ayodeji, who was in charge of depositing funds in the CBN on behalf of a commercial bank, committed the fraud in connivance with staff members of the apex bank.

In legal processes it filed before the court, the anti-graft agency, alleged that the defendant, in an attempt to swindle the Federal Government, switched several boxes of N1000 notes, each box valued at N10million, with papers and fake currencies.

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It told the court that working in cahoot with other bank officials, the defendant, while pretending that the fake currencies were either defaced or mutilated Naira notes, received payments of correct values of the monies, which were usually paid into designated private accounts.

The EFCC, in an affidavit that was deposed to by one of its operatives, Mr. Shepherd Nanaoweikumo, told the court that the CBN has a practice that allows Deposit Money Bank (DMB) to return interleafed and mutilated monies to it for replacement.

It disclosed that such funds, when returned, would be examined by a staff of the apex bank.

According to the Commission, such deposits made by the a Commercial Bank, after awaiting examination for a period of two years, would be automatically destroyed through briquetting exercise.

“That sometimes in November 2014, the Central Bank of Nigeria reported a case of financial malfeasance and fraud against some of its staff at the Central Bank lbadan Branch.

“Following the petition, EFCC assigned a Unit to conduct inquiry with a view to establishing its veracity or otherwise.

“That the Unit commenced investigation into the case and preliminary investigation revealed that the Commercial Banks deposit money with the Central Bank of Nigeria and they also withdraw money from the CBN.

“That upon depositing the money with CBN, the account of the Commercial Bank is credited with the amount deposited.

“That there is a Unit at a Commercial Bank that is charged with responsibility of taking such money to the CBN and making withdrawals from the CBN on behalf of their Bank.

“That there were several boxes of money from the new generated bank of Nigeria deposited with the CBN Ibadan branch which were found to contain currency notes interleafed with either lower denominations or papers cut into the sizes of currency notes.”

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