The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Rivers State Police Command in a joint sting operation on Wednesday apprehended thirteen female suspects over their alleged involvement in illegal printing and minting of the Nigerian currency.
The state Police Command made the disclosure at a media briefing in Port Harcourt while speaking on the clamp down on individuals who allegedly engaged in the unlawful business.
The Public Relations Officer of the Command, Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, who addressed the press on behalf of the Commissioner of Police in the state, Ahmed Zaki, noted that the suspects were arrested at Garrison, Rumuokoro, Waterlines and Eleme areas of the state.
Omoni stated the operation was in line with the CBN’s Act, Section 20 and 21 which holds that it was an offence punishable by term of imprisonment for any person to falsify, hawk, sell or trade, make or counterfeit any bank note of coin which is a legal tender in the country.
Omoni said: “In the operation, thirteen 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, those found culpable will face justice.
“On the whole, a total of N2,937,430.00, consisting of various denomination were recovered from the suspects. As already mentioned, investigation is on to ascertain the source of the new naira notes.”
Omoni, however, stated that the clamp down would be a continuous operation, warning that the act of spraying naira notes on occasions, soiling and writing on them were serious offences against the legal tender.
The CBN in a drive to forestall illicit sale of the naira notes had partnered with the operatives of the state police command and Department of the State Service to clamp down illegal naira vendors in Rivers State.