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EFCC Blocks 1,146 Bank Accounts Involved in Unauthorized Foreign Exchange Deals

By Oluchukwu Ikemefuna

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A Federal High Court order has permitted Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to block 1,146 accounts.

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These accounts were said to be connected with an ongoing investigation into unauthorized foreign exchange dealings, money laundering, and terrorism financing.

EFCC Blocks Accounts Involved In Illegal Tradings

Some of the accounts were dealers in cryptocurrency. The Nigerian government recently clamped down on cryptocurrency operations in the country. EFCC sent an email to those affected. The email read, “It has been confirmed that you trade cryptocurrency. We humbly request that you provide us with a valid court order for the release of your funds.” 

The Federal court order was granted on April 24. This was a day after the EFCC chairman notified journalists that the agency had blocked 300 bank accounts involved in “illegal” peer-to-peer FX trades. 

The EFCC chairman, Mr Olukoyede, said at Tuesday’s presser that “Over $15 billion passed through one of the crypto platforms last year.” He asserted that the Naira would have crashed in a week if the EFCC had not blocked the accounts. 

EFCC Move, A Counter Against Naira Devaluation and Cybercrimes

A high percentage of the account holders affected by the court order have accounts with Nigeria’s biggest traditional banks. Investigation into these accounts is the latest move by Nigerian authorities to discourage cryptocurrency interest and balance naira volatility.  Note that two Binance executives were recently charged due to naira volatility, money laundering, and tax evasion.

An analysis of crypto-trading reportedly presented to Nigeria’s Central Bank identified a cluster of retail traders making large orders for USDT they didn’t eventually buy. The analysts claimed that some traders worked in teams to manipulate FX prices, which is a criminal offense. 

Conclusion 

There are some retail traders with honest intentions, who don’t have issues with following the law. However, there are also users who are making use of the crypto platform for evil intentions.

EFCC operator, Mr Bello, said, “The team uncovered users who have been using the platform for price discovery. Also, they use it for confirmation and market manipulation. This has caused tremendous distortions in the market, resulting in the Naira losing its value against other currencies.”

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Abdullahi Kafayat
Abdullahi Kafayat

Abdullahi Kafayat is an enthusiastic writer interested in the tech world. She's a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University and has a BSc in Chemistry. You can reach her at Kafayatabdullahi17@gmail.com.

Articles: 260

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