EFCC arrests bank manager in Abuja for ‘hoarding N29m new notes’

The operations manager of a commercial bank in the federal capital territory was reportedly detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for hoarding N29 million of the new naira notes.

An official statement from the anti-corruption agency provided more information on the arrest on Monday.

The EFCC reported that the operations manager was detained because he refused to deposit N29 million into the bank’s ATMs.

“Before he was whisked away for further questioning, the operatives ordered the loading of all the ATMs and the payment of the stipulated amount across the counter to the delight of the distraught customers who had spent hours in queues without getting the new notes,” the statement reads.

“This discovery, which indicates sabotage of the government’s monetary policy by some banks, was made by the EFCC in continuation of the ongoing surveillance and visit to banks across the country to access their vaults and verify whether they were deliberately refusing to dispense the redesigned Naira notes.

“More than five bank branches were covered today by the operatives in Abuja. Similar exercises are ongoing in zonal commands across the country.”

There has been a shortage of new naira notes in circulation in Nigeria recently, causing long lines at banks and automated teller machines.

Protests have broken out in several areas of the country due to a lack of naira notes and a similar lack of petrol.

After originally setting January 31 as the last day to exchange outdated naira bills, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has now extended the deadline until February 10.

President Muhammadu Buhari criticized banks as “inefficient, greedy, and selfish” on Friday, casting doubt on their dedication to the success of the naira restructuring strategy.

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