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$40mn scam: Swapped notes with paper cuttings

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Published on June 05, 2015 with No Comments

Three officials from Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)and two from a commercial bank were remanded in custody after appearing in court charged with currency fraud of over 8 billion naira ($40 million).The five are among 22 arrested for failing to destroy old or torn notes, which Central Bank regularly withdraws from circulation to replace with new ones. As per Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The suspects are accused of replacing the old, defaced naira notes with newspaper cut into the shape of the naira notes. The old currency was then recycled back into the economy. The crime was discovered when a briquetting- rocess of destroying old, mutilated and dirty currency, team member in the Oshogbo branch opened one of the cardboard boxes meant for destruction and found it filled not with naira but with newspaper.

“Instead of carrying out instructions to destroy the currency, they substituted it with newspapers neatly cut to naira sizes and proceeded to recycle the defaced currency,“ EFCC said, adding that the scam has gone on for years.“As soon as the bank concluded that wrongdoing had occurred, the members of staff were either dismissed or placed on indefinite suspension on October 21, 2014, and handed over to EFCC for prosecution,“ a CBN statement said.“The fraud is partly to blame for the failure of government monetary policy as currency mop up exercises by the apex (Central) bank failed to check the inflationary pressure on the economy,“ EFCC said.

If true, it’s a crime in which no one was hurt, but the whole country paid, CNN said. The case was adjourned to June 9.


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