Abiodun OBA


Another suspect at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, with 576 Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The fresh arrest came barely two hours after the EFCC secured the conviction of three suspects arrested with 1,144 ATM cards at the same airport.

In a statement, Wilson Uwujaren, the commission’s spokesperson on Tuesday, said the suspect, Khalil Bashir Lawal, was intercepted on Monday, December 20, 2021, by operatives of the commission in collaboration with Nigeria Aviation Security and the Nigeria Customs Service under the aegis of Special Task Force on Money Laundering.

Upon his arrest, it was discovered that Mr Lawal, who was travelling to Uganda with Ethiopian Airlines, had concealed 576 ATM cards bearing different names and banks in his luggage.

The suspect will be charged to court as soon as the investigation is concluded, the EFCC statement said.

Mr Uwujaren had earlier this month disclosed in a statement that the suspects were caught trying to smuggle a total of 1,144 ATM cards out of the country.

He had said the three suspects – Abdullahi Usman, Musa Abubakar and Abdulwahid Auwalu – were apprehended by EFCC operatives during separate arrests carried out between November 24 and December 1, 2021.

It was discovered that Musa Abubakar, who was on his way to Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), had concealed 714 ATM cards, while Abdullahi Usman who was Saudi Arabia-bound had 298 ATM cards in his possession.

Mr Abdulwahid, on the other hand, was said to have been arrested with 132 ATM cards while trying to board an Ethiopian Airlines plane to Istanbul Turkey.

The suspects were subsequently charged with three counts each. They pleaded guilty to the charges.

The judge, Tanimu Shehu, of the Kano State High Court, on Monday, convicted and sentenced them to six months’ imprisonment with an option of N50,000 fine each.


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