Two Nigerians Caught In South Africa Smuggling N1.5bn In A Bid To Acquire Arms


d0839__NIGERIA2BPrivate2BJetTwo Nigerians Caught In South Africa Smuggling N1.5bn In A Bid To Acquire Arms, South African police are investigating two Nigerians and an Israeli citizen who tried to bring $ 9.3 million in cash into the country illegally, a spokesman said on Monday. There were suspicions that the money could be meant for arms. The Nigerians took off from Abuja,  the nation’s capital city.

The plane, a Bombardier Challenger 600, had a Nigerian flight crew on board. It was piloted by a man that has been identified as Captain Tunde Ojongbede, according to City Press.

Adrian Lackay, spokesperson for the SA Revenue Service (Sars), confirmed that customs officers became suspicious when the passengers’ luggage was unloaded and put through the scanners just after 7pm. The officers then investigated and found three suitcases full of cash. Now here is the shocker: the passengers apparently told officials they were acting on behalf of the Nigerian intelligence service…The arrested men provided documentation confirming they had come to South Africa to buy weapons. It is not clear whether the Israeli passenger was an intelligence operative or an arms dealer.

The National Conventional Arms Control Committee, which has to approve the import and export of any weapons as well as issue permits for such transactions, was not aware of any applications in this case.

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) seized the funds at Lanseria airport, northwest of Johannesburg, on Sept. 5. The funds are being held at the country’s central bank as police investigate, SARS spokeswoman Marika Muller confirmed.  SEE MORE ON PAGE2
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