$43M in cash found in empty Nigerian apartment
More than US$43 million was seized from an apartment building in Nigeria after the anti-corruption unit received a tip.
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.
Another source claimed that a “haggard” looking woman in “dirty clothes” sometimes appeared at the apartment building with multiple bags.
On Wednesday, the anti-corruption unit said they 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.
The Nigerian government launched its whistleblowing program in December 2016 to combat corruption. The program encourages citizens to report corruption-related offences through a secure online portal.
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 the event of a successful tip, whistleblowers may also “be entitled to anywhere between 2.5 per cent and 5 per cent of the amount recovered.”
In February, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information in Nigeria, claimed that the whistleblower program has recovered over US$160 million.