She was intercepted at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos with three hundred and seventy-three thousand, seven hundred and twenty-five ($373,725) US dollars and two thousand, one hundred and twenty (€2,120) Euros concealed inside packs of oats. The money was detected during an inward screening of passengers on a South African airline flight from Johannesburg.
NDLEA commander at the Lagos Airport, Mr. Hamza Umar said that it is a suspected case of money laundering.
“A South African lady by name Nosisi Pam Ngqula is being interrogated in connection with a suspected case of money laundering. The mode of concealment presents reasonable grounds for money laundering. Five packs of oats were found to contain $373,725 and €2,120. Two Nigerians, Damian Akamelus and Prophet Cyprian Chigere are also being interrogated in connection with the seized money”
NDLEA Director of Assets and Financial Investigation, Mrs. Victoria Egbase said that refusal to declare the money and the manner of concealment were criminal and that the case is being investigated to establish possible link with drug traff!cking.
The main suspect, who works in a cosmetic shop said that the bag containing the money was given to her by a Nigerian in South Africa. In her statement, “I live in Johannesburg, South Africa. I was given a bag by a Nigerian to deliver to one Damian Akamelu. During examination of my bags at the Lagos airport, the money was found inside packs of oats”.
NDLEA Chairman/Chief Executive Ahmadu Giade who commended the officers for detecting the money ordered that the case be investigated to determine the source of the money. According to Giade, “one of the mandates of the Agency is to identify, trace, freeze, confiscate or seize proceeds derived from drug-related offences or property whose value corresponds to such proceeds. I have therefore directed that the case be investigated to ascertain the source of the money”.
The investigation report is expected to be presented to the Chairman for necessary action. Meanwhile, officials of the South Africa Embassy are said to be in touch with the suspect.