To control the naira, EFCC operatives raid black market forex offices

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, raided the offices of black market currency dealers in Abuja on Tuesday in a bid to halt the rapid fall of the naira.

Naira plunged rapidly between Monday and Tuesday to more than 840 in Abuja a week after the the Central Bank of Nigeria said it will replace higher notes to fight counterfeiting, inflation and insecurity.

President Muhammadu Buhari has backed the move, saying it will help fight corruption. His finance minister criticised the policy.

Hopes the policy could help fight money laundering appears to have backfired as suspected holders of illicit cash scramble to change their stash into foreign currencies, fueling demand for dollars and a further plunge in the value of naira.

The currency crossed the 800 mark for the first time weekend and the decline has shown no sign of abating. On Tuesday, traders told PREMIUM TIMES they were buying a dollar for as high as 840, implying they would sell more.

A PREMIUM TIMES reporter at the Wuse Zone 4 area of Abuja where currency traders conduct their unauthorised deals, said armed operatives of the EFCC stormed the Sheraton Hotel area of Abuja, arresting Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators.

The anti-graft operatives were seen dragging a BDC operator into one of the waiting vehicles, while people surged towards the officials.

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