EFCC raids speculators as naira drops to 1,520/$

Operatives of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission, on Tuesday, expanded its clampdown on Bureau De Change operators, arresting traders in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt.

This came as the naira weakened further against the United States dollar at both the official and parallel foreign exchange markets.

The recent raids followed renewed efforts by the Federal Government to tackle the naira’s recent fall against the greenback.

The activities of currency speculators in the forex markets and the digital cryptocurrency space have reportedly increased pressure on the naira, with the government accusing crypto traders of speculating against the national currency.

Last week, some BDC operators were arrested in Abuja for allegedly speculating against the naira.

Despite resistance by some BDC operators, law enforcement officials have continued to conduct regular raids on unauthorised currency traders in the Federal Capital Territory.

Currency operators, who spoke to one of our correspondents, confirmed that the latest sting operations occurred at various times during the day in Lagos, Kano Port Harcourt and Abuja on Monday.

Malam Yahu, a trader at the popular Wuse Zone 4 market, said currency traders at Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano confirmed sting operation by EFCC operatives, a development that disrupted market activities.

He said the fear also trickled down to the Abuja market as traders decided to reduce trading for fear of being arrested.

Yahu also said the naira was bought and sold for N1,520/$ and 1,540/$.

He said, “The naira is now N1,540 and we are buying at N1,520. But the issue now is that the EFCC guys scattered the market in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano today. As a result of the development, the traders in Abuja were very cautious about trading.

“So in Abuja today, people are afraid because we don’t know when they will come too and nobody wants to be arrested. It is also part of the reason for the high rate.

“Traders are also afraid of buying at a high price because they are cautious that the dollar may crash at any time. Our brothers in Lagos and Port Harcourt are complaining about the arrests.

Another trader, Abubakar Taura, confirmed the same rates and the arrests by security agents.

At the parallel market, the naira closed at N1,540 per dollar.

This represents 4.05 per cent or N60/$1 depreciation compared to the N1,480 quoted on Monday on the black market.

The renewed naira depreciation after the gains in April 2024 was attributed to a shortage of dollars occasioned by the repatriation of funds by foreign portfolio investors.


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