Tuesday, 30 September 2014

NSPMC Currency Printing Scandal: FG May Extradite Ex-Mint Boss To UK To Face Charges

The United Kingdom has requested the extradition of a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Security
Printing and Minting Company, Mr. Emmanuel Okomoyon, to face prosecution in relation to an alleged
scam involving printing of polymer notes.

A source at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said that the process of extraditing Okomoyon to the UK was being facilitated by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation under a mutual agreement for legal
assistance request by the British government.

The Head of Media and Publicity, EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, confirmed on Monday that the British government had contacted the Federal Government to have the former Mint MD extradited.
“There was an extradition request on him by the UK government,” he said.
It was gathered that the EFCC had been investigating Okomoyon since 2012 on the request of the British National Crime Agency in relation to the alleged scandal that trailed the contract for the printing of the polymer naira notes.

Okomoyon, who was the managing director of the NSMPC, was suspended by the Board of the Central Bank of Nigeria for the alleged disappearance of N1,000 notes.
The source said that the British National Crime Agency made a request for the investigation in reaction to a discovery by the Australian authorities that some people at the CBN and the NSMC received bribes and kickbacks from a substrate producing company, Securency Pty Limited, to produce the N20 polymer notes for the central bank between 2006 and 2008.

It was gathered that over N750m was involved in the scam allegedly involving officials of the CBN, NSPMC and Securency International Pty of Australia, now Innovia Security Pty Limited.
The source said the investigation conducted by the EFCC revealed a “web of forgery, identity fraud and money laundering, running into millions of naira.”

It was learnt that the British government made a request for the alleged scam to be investigated by the EFCC following the realisation that the bribes were routed through offshore accounts in the UK and other areas of jurisdiction.

Investigation revealed that operatives of the EFCC arrested Okomoyon on Saturday and had been detaining
him at the commission’s Idiagbon House Head Office at Wuse, Abuja.
It was further learnt that the EFCC had been involved in moves to get the office of the AGF to formalise his extradition to the UK to face charges bordering on corruption.

Okoyomon’s arrest was confirmed by one his close associates. The source, who did not want his name in print as he was not officially permitted to speak on the matter, said the former Mint boss would be extradited to the UK to face prosecution in relation to money laundering.

The source said apart from Okoyomon, other former and serving management staff of the Mint had been placed under surveillance by the anti-graft agency.

  - Punch