EFCC Clampdown on 1146 Accounts Over Alleged Illegal Forex Dealing

The ruling, delivered on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, mandates the freezing of the accounts "pending conclusion of investigation.
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In a significant move aimed at combating financial crimes, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court Abuja granted the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) an interim order to freeze 1146 bank accounts belonging to individuals and companies under investigation for alleged offenses related to unauthorized dealings in forex exchange, money laundering, and terrorism financing.

The ruling, delivered on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, mandates the freezing of the accounts "pending conclusion of investigation." This decision follows a motion moved by the EFCC counsel, Ekele Iheanacho, who emphasized the necessity to preserve the funds in light of ongoing investigations. Justice Nwite emphasized the seriousness of the matter, stating, "an order of this honorable court is hereby made freezing the bank accounts...owned by various individuals who are currently being investigated."

He further highlighted the preliminary findings, indicating that the accounts were allegedly utilized to manipulate the value of the naira through virtual cryptocurrency exchange platforms and launder proceeds of unlawful activities.

The judge scheduled the next hearing for July 23, 2024, for mention, underscoring the gravity of the investigation. Notably, the affected entities span various sectors including agri-businesses, logistics and haulage, microfinance banks, and engineering. Dele Oyewale, Head of Media & Publicity for the EFCC, reiterated the commission's commitment to ensuring the integrity of the financial system and combating illicit financial activities.

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