Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) conducted a raid on the Wuse Zone 4 bureau de change center in Abuja on Friday due to the depreciating naira.
It’s understood that the EFCC agents are looking into allegations that certain people are collecting and storing foreign cash, generating a shortage that is increasing the value of the dollar.
It’s true, stated an EFCC detective, who asked to remain unnamed. We carried out a clandestine operation to remove currency speculators who are allegedly massacring available foreign dollars by storming bureau de change establishments in Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.
“The raid is a product of weeks of surveillance in which agents of the EFCC have been monitoring the activities of most of the bureau de change operators in the Wuse 4 axis.
“The anti-graft agency is working on intelligence that some forces with massive naira inflow have mobilised resources and are busy buying up available foreign currencies, especially the US Dollar, to either hoard or smuggle the same out of Nigeria.”
As part of a coordinated attempt to stop currency speculators’ activities, it was also learned that certain commission employees had been stationed at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC’s spokesman, was unavailable for comment on Friday.
Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria has come under fire for its inability to stabilize the naira, which has fallen versus major currencies.
The current currency rate, which was approximately N200 to $1 on the black market at the time, was promised to be stabilized by the ruling All Progressives Congress in 2015.
But earlier in the week, the naira fell to an all-time low of N710 to the dollar, drawing criticism from the opposition. On the official market, however, the naira has held steady at N420 to $1.