Nigeria News
Polymer notes: ex-mint boss faces forgery, money laundering charges

There were indications last night that former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company, NSPMC, Emmanuel Ehidiamhen Okoyomon, might be extradited to the United Kingdom to face trial over the lingering polymer notes scam in Nigeria.

naira money

Competent sources at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told Vanguard that the extradition processes were being initiated through the office of the Attorney General of the Federation under a Mutual Legal Assistance request by the British Government.

Okoyomon who holds dual Nigerian and British citizenship was the chief executive of the NSMPC until November 2013 when he was suspended by the board of the Central Bank of Nigeria in the wake of the disappearance of printed N1000 notes worth N1.2 billion from the premises of the company in Abuja.

Before then, he had been under investigation since 2012 by the anti- graft agency following a request by the British National Crime Agency over a different matter, the alleged collection of multi-million Naira bribe from Securency of Australia for the printing of polymer notes for Nigeria.

The request followed discovery by Australian authorities that some Nigerian officials at the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Mint, received bribes and kickbacks from Securency Pty Ltd, a polymer substrate producing company for the contract to produce N20 polymer notes for the Central Bank of Nigeria between 2006 and 2008.

Findings by both British and Nigerian security agents reportedly established that the bribes were routed through offshore accounts in the UK and other jurisdictions

But EFCC sources confirmed last night that its investigations uncovered a web of forgery, identity fraud and money laundering running into millions of naira.

The erstwhile Mint boss allegedly used the names of his driver and clerk to open different bank accounts in which he diverted several alleged bribery funds without their knowledge.

He allegedly forged a driver’s license with the photograph of his driver but bearing a different name belonging to his official clerk, to open the account, in which N368 million, proceeds of laundered bribery funds were traced, with Okoyomon as the sole beneficiary.

Over N750 million is alleged to have exchanged hands between officials of the CBN, the NSPMC and Securency International Pty of Australia, (now Innovia Security Pty Limited.

Earlier this year, the EFCC had served notice that Okomoyon and the former CBN boss, Professor Charles Soludo might be charged to court for their roles in the printing of Polymer notes.

The commissioned had hinted at the time that the embattled former MD, who was forced to resign from the company over missing N1.2 billion printed notes, had been found to have a case to answer by a team that investigated him over the polymer notes scam.

The agency also confirmed that the former Mint boss had been indicted by the panel, which probed him and his activities.

He said that all those who were found to have played roles in the scam would be charged to court before long.

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