The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday, arrested an Operations Manager of a commercial bank in Abuja Central Area, for hoarding the new banknotes.
The suspect was arrested by operatives of the commission for allegedly refusing to load the new notes in the Automated Teller Machines (ATMs), of the bank despite having N29million of the redesigned naira notes in the branch’s vaults, a statement by EFCC's Head of Media and Publicity Wilson Uwujaren, read as reported by local media.
According to reports, Nigerians had been forced to sleep in various bank ATMs across the country to be able to withdraw the new banknotes to buy foodstuffs and other domestic products owing to the scarcity of the new currency notes.
The CBN had several times accused the officials of the commercial banks of hoarding the New currency notes, insisting that the notes printed were enough and if properly distributed there shouldn't be scarcity.
before the operation manager was arrested, the EFCC operatives had ordered the loading of all the ATMs and the payment of the stipulated amount across the counter to the delight of the distraught customers who had spent hours in queues without getting the new notes.
According to the statement, "this discovery, which indicates a sabotage of the government’s monetary policy by some banks, was made by the EFCC in continuation of the ongoing surveillance and visit to banks across the country to access their vaults and verify whether they were deliberately refusing to dispense the redesigned Naira notes.
"The operation will continue until normalcy is restored to the banking system," EFCC assured in the statement.
Meanwhile, the anti-graft agency has urged Nigerians finding it difficult to access their funds at any bank and suspecting foul play to contact the commission, for immediate intervention.