Cash Smuggling: Court Jails Two Lebanese, Forfeits Undeclared Sum of $890,000

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has sentenced two lebanese, Chamseddine Waell Mohammed and Dina Jihad Khali to two years imprisonment over allegation of money laundering.Court Jails Two Lebanese Caught Smuggling $890,000 In Rivers ...

Justice I. M. Sani of the Federal High Court convicted and sentenced the defendants to two years imprisonment with an option of fine of N1 million each after the prosecution prayed the court to convict and sentence them as charged.

The two Lebanese had pleaded guilty to separate one-count charge of money laundering preferred against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court also ordered that the undeclared amount of money, $890,000 found on them be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The EFCC in a statement by Dele Oyewale, Head, Media and Publicity the offences run contrary to Section 2 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 2 (5) of the same Act.

The Commission disclosed that the said amount was found inside their luggage onboard a chartered flight with registration number 9HVFF to Lebanon.

The EFCC statement read, “The first charge read: “That you Chamseddine Waell Mohammed on the 1st July, 2020 at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fail to make a declaration of the sum of $220,000.00 (Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand US Dollars) hid in your Luggage on board a chartered flight with registration number 9HVFF to Lebanon and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 2 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under section 2 (5) of the same Act”.

The second charge read: “That you Dina Jihad Khali on the 1st July, 2020 at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Port Harcourt within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fail to make a declaration to the Nigeria Custom Service as required by law cash transportation of the sum of $670,000.00 (Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand US Dollars) hid in your Luggage on board a chartered flight with registration number 9HVFF to Lebanon and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 2 (3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as Amended) and punishable under Section 2 (5) of the same Act”.

It further disclosed that they were apprehended by the Nigeria Custom Service, Area One Command, Port Harcourt and handed over to the Port Harcourt Zonal office of the EFCC on August 12, 2020 for further investigation.

“The Convicts, Khali with Passport Number LR152975 (Republic of Lebanon) was arrested with $670,000USD (Six Hundred and Seventy Thousand Dollars ) while Mohammed with Passport Number LR0356598 (Republic of Lebanon) had in his possession the sum of $220,000USD (Two Hundred and Twenty Thousand Dollars),” the statement said.

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