Peoples Gazette, 6 August 2022. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned that it will arrest Nigerians stockpiling and hoarding forex as authorities activates desperate measures to salvage tumbling economy.
The chairman of the anti-graft agency, Abdulrasheed Bawa, issued the threat while meeting with representatives of Bureau De Change operators in Abuja on Friday, saying the agency had intelligence that Nigerians stockpiling foreign currency.
He warned that the agency would not hesitate to arrest anyone found guilty of the crime.
“The Commission has intelligence linking some persons and organisations to hoarding foreign currencies, especially the United States dollars, in key commercial cities of Kano, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Calabar. We warn those involved to desist or risk arrest as a major offensive against the speculators is underway,” he said.
The anti-graft agency’s threat comes a few weeks after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) threatened to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using naira to buy dollars.
In an attempt to further restrict the flow of forex at the parallel market, the banking sector regulator threatened to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using naira to buy dollars.
Recall that operatives of the anti-graft agency in an effort to stabilise the nation’s plummeting currency in July besieged the Wuse Zone 4 axis, the bureau de change trading hub in Abuja.
The raid was carried out after the anti-graft agency received information that some individuals were purchasing American dollars in large quantities, causing scarcity of the green and further depreciation of the naira.
Mr Emefiele has spent years blaming BDC operators and purported speculators for the downward trend of the national currency.
Also in July, Federal lawmakers summoned Mr Emefiele after the naira fell to N710 per dollar, expressing concern that the naira could fall as low as N1,000 per dollar by the end of the year.
In the parallel market, the naira fell from N180 to a dollar in 2014 to N710 in the final days of July, before gaining to trade at N665 against the dollar.