Twelve suspected naira vendors have been paraded at the Rivers State Civil Defence Corps Command with a total sum of one million, forty-seven thousand, five hundred and fifty-five (1,047,555) Naira.
The twelve suspects who were mostly women were arrested along Garrison, Rumukrushi and Rumuodara axis of Port Harcourt by officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps; Department of State Service DSS and Central Bank of Nigeria in a joint operation targeted to forestall illicit sales of the country’s currency notes.
Speaking to journalist after the operation, State Commandant of Civil Defence Corps, Muktar LAWAL, said it is illegal for people to continue in the act of abusing the naira note.
According to him, the clampdown on the Naira vendors and sellers is hinged on the CBN’s Act, Section 20 and 21 that makes it a punishable offence for any individual or group of persons to hawk, sell or otherwise trade in the Naira notes, coins or any note issued by the CBN.
“A total sum of One Million, Forty-Seven Thousand, Five Hundred and Fifty-five (N1,047,555.00k) Naira consisting of various denominations was recovered from the suspects. Investigations have already commenced on the matter to ascertain the source of the notes.
“For the avoidance of doubt, acts of spraying the Naira notes at accessions, soiling and writing on the Naira, squeezing the Naira, as well as hawking and selling of the country’s currency notes, are abuses of the Naira and are punishable by law under the CBN act 2007 which attract jail term not less than six months or a fine.
“The NSCDC and the CBN will continue the clampdown on the perpetrators of this offence.”
Commandant LAWAL stressed further that the arrested persons would be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.
He appealed to the general public to desist from these acts of abuse of the Naira as our currency is one of the symbols of our identity.
Some of the suspects who spoke to our reporter Tina Amanda claimed that they were on their way to the bank to pay in the new naira notes before they were arrested, while some begged to be pardon as they were ignorant of the law.