Contrary to reports by SAHARAREPORTERS that the alleged N310 million stolen from a Bureau de change operator in Abuja by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and some soldiers, belonged to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, police investigation has revealed that the money actually belongs, to the operator of the bureau de change.
SAHARAREPORTERS had reported that the money belonged to Saraki and that the DSS operatives stole the money which he gave them to launder for him, an allegation which the senate president had serially denied.
The DSS last weekend issued a statement disclosing that some of its operatives and soldiers were arrested in connection with the robbery, The DSS operatives are Abdulrasheed Ahmadu Maigari, Solomon Inusa, Peter Okoye, Patrick Ishayi and George Mwatapwa IBBI.
The five military personnel involved were led by Captain Hussein Ishaku Mshelia, who has also been arrested by the Nigerian Army authorities. Two of the operatives are attached to the Senate President. The Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Commissioner of Police, Wilson Inalegwu, under whose command the case is been investigated, said the money belonged to the owner of the bureau de change.
Although the FCT police boss did not disclose the name and address of the operator of the bureau de change, he said the criminal act was well planned and orchestrated by the perpetrators.
He gave a detailed description of the events as it happened; “On November 20, 2015, a man approached an operator of bureau de change and told him that he has some dollars for exchange. For the avoidance of doubt, this man took the bureau de change operator to a place along Nile Street, Maitama, Abuja, where he showed him the dollars, but insisted that for him to release the money, the operator must give him the exchange in naira”.
“As a businessman, he went to the bank and withdrew N310 million cash, the exact amount of the dollar the other man presented to him. While the bureau de change operator was still arranging the money to hand over to the man, some security operatives came in a while Hilux bus and round them up. They first accused them of money laundering before collecting the money and ran away”.
“Luck, however ran against them as the bureau de change operator was able to get the name of one of the soldiers. He immediately reported the case to the Police at Maitama Division, where investigation commenced in earnest”.
“In the course of the investigation, we were able to get the names and identities of some of them. Unfortunately, two of the DSS operatives are attached to the senate president. The police contacted the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the senate president. But rather than sending the operatives to the police for interrogation, he sent them to the DSS office”.
“At no point did any of them mention Saraki’s name as the owner of the money. As I said earlier, the money belongs to the owner of the bureau de change, who was only lured into releasing his money for them to steal.”
Omolara Adegoke- Abuja
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