The Kwara State Police Command on Saturday arrested 14 suspects in Ilorin for allegedly trading in naira notes.
The suspects, comprising young men and women, were picked up in various locations in Ilorin, the state capital, while engaging in the buying and selling of different denominations of naira notes.
Parading the suspects at the police headquarters on behalf of the state Commissioner of Police, the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Ajayi Okasanmi, said they were arrested for trading in the naira.
“The Nigeria Police, in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria, acted on actionable intelligence that some individuals and groups of people were trading in naira notes issued by the CBN contrary to sections 20 and 21 of the CBN Act, which make the trading in the currency a punishable offence,” Okasanmi stated.
He said the suspects were arrested in various locations by men of the command, while huge sums of money in various denominations were recovered from them.
Okasanmi noted that investigation to ascertain the sources of the naira notes was ongoing, while the suspects would be charged to court at the conclusion of the investigation.
He advised members of the public to stop abusing the naira, which he described as one of the symbols of the country’s identity.
Okasanmi stated, “The Nigeria Police and the CBN will continue to clamp down on the perpetrators of this offence, which is punishable by law.
“The general public is warned that spraying naira notes at parties, soiling, writing on the naira, squeezing and all other abuse of the Nigerian currency constitute an offence.”
One of the suspects, Adebayo Kazeem, who claimed to be an apprentice, said he was arrested at his master’s shop at Oja Tuntun in Babaoko area of Ilorin, where he was selling different denominations of naira notes to those who had social engagements at the weekend.
Kazeem said his master and the proprietor of the printing press, where he was arrested, claimed that he did not know that selling of naira notes was an offence.