The Anambra Police Command on Thursday paraded seven persons allegedly involved in the sale and hawking of mint naira notes.
The suspects made up of six males and a female were arrested at Ogbogwu and Building Material’s market in Onitsha while two others were said to be on the run.
Parading the suspects, the Anambra State Police Commissioner, Mr. Garba Umar, said the operation that led to the arrest of the suspects was jointly carried out by the police, the Department of State Services and the Central Bank of Nigeria.
He warned that the command would no longer tolerate the abuse of the nation’s currency, the naira.
He gave the names of the suspects as Clementina Uche who is the only female; Emeka Wilfred, Anthony Onyebuchi, James Odumodu, Peterson Olabuche, Apeh Ekene, and Valentine Ekwueme.
“On Wednesday, December 20, 2017, at about 1300hrs, the Command in collaboration with the Department of State Services and the Central Bank of Nigeria carried a sting operation, aimed at forestalling illicit sale of naira note (mint).
“The clampdown on the suspects is hinged on the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) Act section 20 and 21 thereof.
“Section 20 sub-section 4 makes it an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment not less than five years for any person to falsify, make or counterfeit any bank notes or coin issued by the CBN.
“Whereas section 21 sub-section 1, makes it an offence punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than six months or a fine not less than N50,000 or both for any person to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in naira notes, coins or any other notes issued by the CBN.”
He said N4,304,550 was recovered from the suspects.
The CP added,
“The command wants to use this opportunity to warn the public to desist from abusing the naira as it is one of the symbols of our national identity.”
He assured Nigerians that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigation was concluded.
“We wish to also remind the general public that the acts of spraying naira notes on occasions, soiling and writing on it, squeezing it are abuse of the naira and are punishable as appropriate.”