EFCC, Customs arrest UAE passenger with 2,890 ATM, SIM cards inside noodles

A suspected fraudster, Ishaq Abubakar has been arrested for concealing 2,886 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards and four Subscriber Identification Module (SIM) cards in noodles.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Thursday handed over Abubakar to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has already commenced probing the matter.

Abubakar was arrested by Customs officers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on his way to Dubai.

Abudulmumuni Bako, the Deputy Comptroller, Enforcement, disclosed how the suspect was arrested.

Represented by Customs Area Comptroller, A. Ma’aji, Bako said the suspect, who claimed to have come from Kano to travel to Dubai aboard the Emirate Evacuation flight, was seen with someone assigned to facilitate his movement through the airport checks.

“This raised the suspicion of the officers who insisted he should be physically and thoroughly checked after the scan machine had revealed he was carrying parks of noodles”, he said.

Meanwhile, AbdulRasheed Bawa, the EFCC Lagos zonal head, has assured of a thorough investigation.

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According to him, “On behalf of the Commission and the acting Chairman, Mr. Muhammed Umar, we have taken over Ishaq, and I can assure you that we are going to investigate the matter thoroughly and unveil everybody involved in the syndicate.

“There are a number of possibilities. There is an element of conspiracy, foreign exchange (FOREX) malpractices and money laundering. Indeed, banks and bankers are definitely involved.”

He stated that there was possibility of the suspect being a member of a network.

“In recent months, we have observed a trend in which unsuspecting Nigerians are lured into opening accounts to be bought at a fee. Most bankers are not carrying out their duties with due diligence, particularly the Know Your Customers, KYC, procedural check”, he lamented.

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