It appears that at least one "Nigerian prince" had the cash to back his claims.
Nigeria's anti-corruption unit discovered more than $43 million in US dollars at an upscale apartment in Lagos, after receiving an anonymous tip. As CTV News reports, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission received a tip from a whistleblower who reported suspicious activity when they noticed someone moving bags in and out of the apartment, according to a Facebook post.
The anti-graft agency said in a statement it raided the apartment Tuesday after a tipoff about a "haggard" woman in "dirty clothes" taking bags in and out of the apartment.
On Wednesday, the agency said it stormed the seventh floor of a residential building and entered into the apartment where they found three fireproof cabinets hidden inside a dresser. The cabinets were full of neatly packaged bills.
In total, they seized US$43 million in U.S. bills, US$35,000 in U.K. pounds and US$75,000 in Nigerian naira "neatly arranged" inside cabinets hidden behind wooden panels of a bedroom wardrobe.
Highlights from the Facebook post below:
EFCC Uncovers Another Massive Stash of Monies In Ikoyi: The whistle blowing policy of the Federal Government is paying off positively as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission today stormed a residential building in the 7th Floor of a four - bedroom apartment at Osborne Towers located at 16, Osborne road Ikoyi, Lagos, where a humongous find of foreign currencies and Naira notes to the tune of $43.4m, £27,800 and N23.2m was uncovered.
The operation followed a whistle blower's confidential alert received by the Commission's Lagos office this morning regarding some noticed suspicious movement of bags in and out of a particular apartment in the building. According to the source, the movers of the bags, make believe that they bring in bags of clothes.
Another source who is conversant with the apartment of interest indicated that a woman usually appeared on different occassions with Ghana Must Go bags. " She comes looking haggard, with dirty clothes but her skin didn't quite match her outward appearance, perhaps a disguise", the source said.
On getting to the building, operatives met the entrance door locked. Inquiries from the guards at the gate explained that nobody resides in the apartment, but some persons come in and out once in a while. In compliance with the magisterial order contained in the warrant, the EFCC used minimum force to gain entrance into the apartment.
Monies were found in two of the four bedroom apartment. Further probe of the wardrobe by operatives in one of the rooms, was found to be warehousing three fire proof cabinents disguisedly hidden behind wooden panels of the wardrobe. Upon assessing the content of the cabinets, neatly arranged US Dollars, Pound Sterling and some Naira notes in sealed wrappers.
The anti-corruption unit redundantly added that according to "preliminary findings the funds are suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity" although no arrest have been made yet. Earlier in the week, the agency discovered around 250 million naira in cash ($817,000) in a Lagos market and a further 448 million naira cash ($1.5 million) at a shopping plaza.
These gains have been credited to a whistleblowing policies launched in December by Nigeria's finance minister. Whistleblowers can now anonymously provide information through a secure portal, if the information leads to the recovery of stolen public funds, the whistleblower is entitled to between 2.5%-5% of the total money recovered.
According to the website, people can report violations of financial regulations, mismanagement of public funds, financial malpractice and fraud or theft “deemed to be in the interest of the public.”
In February, the minister of information, Lai Muhammad, said the policy has led to the recovery of over $180 billion.
It was unclear how much of the funds were Saudi kickbacks to the Niger Delta Avengers for singlehandedly keeping the price of oil levitating for several months in 2016.