About thirteen women, who specialize in hawking various denominations of the Naira note, have been arrested by law enforcement agents during a joint sting operation in Port Harcourt.
Speaking to newsmen , on behalf of the Commissioner of Police, CP Zaki M. Ahmed, the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Omoni Nnamdi said, ‘I am delighted to have you here today to share with you the outcome of a joint sting operation carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and two sisters Security Agencies.
‘On Tuesday 12th December, 2017, Men of the Command and the Department of the State Services (DSS) in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, in a sting operation aimed at forestalling illicit sale of the Naira Notes, clamped down on the alleged illegal Naira Vendors and sellers. The operation was carried out in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Act Sections 20 and 21 thereof.
‘Section 20 Sub-section 4, makes it an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment not less than 5 years for any person to falsify, make or counterfeit any Bank Note or coin issued by the Bank which is a legal tender in Nigeria.
‘Whereas Section 21 Sub-section 1, makes it an offence punishable for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any other notes issued by the Bank.
‘In the heels of the above operations, thirteen (13) suspects, all women, were arrested in different parts of Port Harcourt and are currently held in State CID Port Harcourt, helping the Police in Investigation. At the end of our Investigation those found culpable will face justice.
‘On the whole, a total sum of Two Million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Seven Thousand, Four Hundred and Thirty Naira (N2,937,430.00) only, consisting of various denominations were recovered from the suspects. As already mentioned, Investigation is on to ascertain the sources of the New Naira Notes. This operation shall be a continuous exercise by the relevant Security Agencies with a view to clamping down on persons illegally dealing on Nigerian’s legal tender, punishable under the extant CBN Act, LFN 2007, with a jail term of not less than six months or a fine of not less than Fifty Thousand Naira (N50,000.00) or both.
‘May I also place on record and for the avoidance of doubt, that the acts of spraying the Naira Notes at occasions, soiling and writing on them, mutilation, squeezing, as well as hawking and selling the naira notes, all amount to the abuse of the naira, as such should be discouraged by all. The Naira Note is one of our symbols of National Identity and to that extent should be respected in all ramifications or else the long arm of the law will catch up with the offenders. May I further caution that the Naira Note is our legal tender and should be handled in conformity with the Law’ He stated.