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$20m Cash evacuated from Ministers’ home, Bawa reveals

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is investigating a serving minister over her alleged involvement in the purchase of a property estimated to cost a staggering $37. 5 million.

The house was allegedly sold to the minister by a Managing Director (MD) of a bank, whose identity was not disclosed.

Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, made the startling revelation, Tuesday, June 15, 2021, during an interview session on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, monitored by our correspondent in Abuja.

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According to Bawa, the unnamed bank’s MD had approached the minister with the offer, which the latter eventually agreed to buy, after negotiations.

To understand her seriousness, the senior government official was alleged to have made available the sum of $20 million, which was safely evacuated from her house, with the help of a vehicle provided by the bank.

The EFCC Chairman expressed worries that the real estate was fast becoming the sector of choice for alleged money laundering in the country, by corrupt officials.

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“Let me just give you an example. We investigated a matter in which a bank’s MD (Managing Director) marketed a property to a Minister of the Federal Republic (of Nigeria) and the minister agreed to purchase that property. And then, of course, negotiations took place back and forth. At the end of the day, the minister agreed that, ‘yes’, she is interested in buying the property for $37. 5 million.

“Now, the bank sent a vehicle to her house and then, in the first instance, $20 million was evacuated from her house. The bank succeeded in putting it into their system and they paid the developer,” Bawa said.

He continued, “And then a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle where the title documents were now transferred into.

“And then, of course, he was posing as if he is the owner of that property. You can see how the problem is and that is what we say that that is the area where we need to work on and strengthen.

“Now, without the help of the bankers, the minister couldn’t even have imagined collecting $20 million from anybody. Without the opportunity in the real sector, she (minister) couldn’t have thought of where to even launder the proceeds of crime.

“And this is just one of such cases; it is happening on a daily basis in this country. And that is one area where we say that, look, we have to look at, and then of course, we believe that if we succeed at the end of the day, then the problem will be solved.”

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