As the Naira fell to N857 to the dollar on the black market on Tuesday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission conducted simultaneous operations on Bureau de Change operators in Abuja and Kano.
According to reports, the raids in the two towns, which resulted in the capture of several suspected clients and illegal BDC operators, would also be extended to Lagos, Onitsha, Ibadan, Port Harcourt, and other significant cities across the nation.
The EFCC agents, supported by armed police officers, raided the black market FX traders’ improvised booths in Zone 4, Wuse, Abuja, while they were going about their regular business, arresting many of them.
Witnesses reported seeing the men being apprehended being dragged into waiting cars while the incident slowed down nearby traffic.
The national currency has remained under pressure against the dollar following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s declaration that the new naira notes will replace higher notes with effect from December 15 in order to combat counterfeiting, inflation, and insecurity.
The development was blamed on BDC operators and individuals desperate to convert their ill-gotten money into hard currency.
The EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa had endorsed the planned redesign of the naira and cautioned BDC operators against currency hoarders who would attempt to seize the opportunity to offload the currencies they had illegally stashed away.
Giving an insight into the raids in Abuja and Kano, a senior official explained that the EFCC has been monitoring the activities of forex dealers in the two cities, adding that the operations were intelligence-led.