N40bn fraud: EFCC recovers 17 vehicles from ex-Customs boss, Dikko

Eniola Akinkuotu, Abuja

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has recovered 17 exotic vehicles in a warehouse allegedly belonging to a former Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko.

The EFCC said in a Facebook post that the vehicles were recovered on Nnamdi Azikwe Street, Kaduna.

According to the commission, the vehicles include a black BMW 525i series, 2010 model, with chassis number WBAFR7108BC262936; ash Hyundai Velester, 2012 model, with chassis number KMHTC6AD4CU056038; blue BMW 325i, 2003 model, with chassis number WBAEV31090KL48386; and a black Land Cruiser Prado, 2014 model with chassis number JTEBU3FJ50K082080.”

The commission also named other vehicles to include “a black Mercedes G Wagon, 2013 model, with chassis number WDB4632361X207661; a black BMW 335i series, 2012 model, with chassis number WBA3A91040F268895; a silver Peugeot 406, 2002 model, with chassis number VF3BBRFNR81519018; a black Land Cruiser Prado, 2014 model, with chassis number JTEBU3FJ10K082352.

“A yellow Toyota FJ Cruiser, 2007 model, with chassis number JTEZU11F68K001301; a black Toyota Avensis, 2013 model, with chassis number SBIBL76L20E037245; ash KIA Cadenza, 2011 model, with chassis number KNALN414BC5093288; silver Porsche Cayene, 2009 model, with chassis number WPIZZZ9PZ9LA12738.

Others are, “Gold Honda Accord, 2013 model, with chassis number IHGCR2634DA620609; white Nissan Urban Bus, 2006 model, JNITF4E25Z0715833; white Nissan Urban Bus, 1996 model with chassis number JTFJXO29P605023996; white Toyota Hiace Bus, 2010 model, with chassis number JTGJXO2P4B5020268 and a white Nissan Bus, 2009 model, with chassis number JNITA4E250011697.”

According to the EFCC, the recovery was sequel to information received by the commission that stolen money and properties, suspected to be proceeds of crime, were being stored in the warehouse.

Upon receiving the information, a team of operatives from the Kano Zonal Office of the EFCC were deployed to carry out investigations into the hidden items.

The commission added, “On arrival at the location, two individuals, who were discovered to be the custodians of the property, Dantala Mohammed and Ahmed Balarabe, were presented with a search warrant. Upon executing the search warrant, a total of 17 vehicles, amongst them brand new cars, shuttle buses and SUVs were discovered.

“Consequently, the vehicles and the two individuals, who are now also suspects in the investigation, were conveyed to the commission’s zonal offices in Kaduna and Kano respectively for further investigations, which revealed that the warehouse in question actually belongs to the former Customs boss.

“Investigation is still ongoing and the two suspects arrested are in custody.”

The recovery, it was learnt, was part of investigations into an alleged N40bn fraud perpetrated by Dikko.

Dikko had returned N1bn to the EFCC last year while a house worth about N2bn, allegedly belonging to him, had been seized by the commission.

Dikko, who served as the head of NCS between August 2009 and August 2015, became the subject of an EFCC investigation last year when the commission established that about N40bn was diverted from the treasury of the NCS under his watch.

The funds were allegedly drawn from proceeds of the seven per cent cost of collection and one per cent comprehensive import supervision scheme.

He was subsequently arrested by the EFCC in June 2016 but was released due to his failing health.

Sources within the EFCC, however, told our correspondent that Dikko failed to disclose the existence of the vehicles which were just seized.

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