Forex fraud: Senate vows to publish names of importers, banks
Senate has vowed to publish names of importers and banks found culpable in ongoing investigation into over N30 trillion alleged foreign exchange frauds perpetrated between 2006 and 2017.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Customs, Sen. Hope Uzodinma, made this known on the second day of meeting with representatives of all commercial banks, the Central Bank of Nigeria and Ministry of Finance on Thursday.
He said the committee had given documents containing names of importers allegedly involved in the act and other details to the commercial banks to study.
According him, as soon as the committee gets reactions from the banks, it will proceed with further investigations on each of the importers.
“The Senate is worried with the state of our economy and we have decided to investigate the dwindling value of our Naira as well as the state of forex that is affecting the economy negatively.
“We will publish the names of importer and banks involved in this fraudulent act.
“The purpose of giving the banks these documents is for them to go and identify the importers that were their customers and work out ways of returning the un-utilised portion of the foreign exchange allocated to them.
“We have the names of the importers, how much was given to them and other details, which are contained in the documents handed over to the banks,’’ he said.
The lawmaker decried that the release of forex to fictitious importers had denied genuine importers access to Forex, causing economic hardship.
He stressed that “commercial banks were trusted and given dealer status, unfortunately we were not able to see the importation that was made with the forex released.
“We profiled utilisation of Forex within the period and went further to establish that letters of credit for doing business were linked to companies abroad.
“We did not stop there, we also went to Customs and there was no evidence of import duty payment, payment of Value Added Tax and other requirements.’’