While millions of Nigerians scramble to get the new naira notes, currency traders have turned the sale of such notes into brisk business and are working in cahoot with bank officials, the State Security Service (SSS) has said.
SSS spokesperson Peter Afunanya, in a statement Monday, said some of the currency traders involved have been ‘intercepted’ and have confirmed that they are working with officials of commercial banks.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) hereby informs the public that it has intercepted some members of organised syndicates involved in the sale of the new redesigned naira notes,” Mr Afunanya said.
“In the course of its operations, in this regard in parts of the country, it was also established that some Commercial Bank officials are aiding the economic malfeasance.”
The SSS, also called DSS, warned the “currency racketeers to desist from this ignoble act.”
It did not, however, say if those ‘intercepted’ and their bank collaborators would be prosecuted.
“Appropriate regulatory authorities are, in this same vein, urged to step up monitoring and supervisory activities to expeditiously address the emerging trends.
“It should be noted that the Service has ordered its Commands and Formations to further ensure that all persons and groups engaged in the illegal sale of the notes are identified. Therefore, anyone with useful information relating to this is encouraged to pass the same to the relevant authorities.”
This is coming a day after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) extended the deadline for the return of the old currency while keeping mum on the current scarcity of the new banknotes which it claimed to have circulated enough of it to commercial banks.