$2.1bn arms sleaze: BDC operators’ involvement upsets EFCC

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

The involvement of Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the $2.1 billion arms deal is disturbing to Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The agency promises to deal decisively with any operator found wanting in the sleaze.

EFCC acting Chairman Ibrahim Magu urged the operators to document the activities of the BDC operators to enable the agency track down the operators with fraudulent operations.

He said: ‘‘There are fraudulent involvements of Bureau De Change operators in the arms deal scandal.

"There are reports of some of your members withdrawing as much as N500million in two, three, four tranches in this arms deal scam. So, I am greatly disturbed. I think there should be a documentation regarding your activities, as this will enable your group to checkmate anyone who is involved in any fraudulent activity.

“My operatives often tell me what they see during investigations. We need to talk to you, as some of your operators are fond of carrying huge amounts of money out of the country, since they can no longer withdraw more than $300 using the ATM.

Magu was quoted to have spoken when the leadership of BDC operators paid him courtesy visit in Abuja according to a statement signed by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren.

Speaking during the visit, the Chairman of Bureau De Change operators, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, promised to cooperate with the EFCC to fight graft and move the country forward.

“I want to congratulate you on your appointment as acting Chairman of EFCC and pray for God’s guidance, most especially as it is a period of tough choices and decisions," the BDC operators chief said.

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