The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has launched an inquiry into an alleged $1 billion currency counterfeit deal, involving a Nigerian and other nationals.

A memo, dated August 23, 2023, giving insight into the inquiry and marked confidential was addressed to banks and financial institutions.

The counterfeited dollar, according to the letter, is meant for the African market.

The memo ‘FPR/AML/INT/DSH/001/039’ signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Chibuzo Efobi, was titled ‘Administrative letter to banks and other financial institutions: Arrest of a Nigerian and four other nationals for alleged involvement in currency counterfeiting’.

The apex bank said the arrest was made by Turkish authorities.

The letter read in part: “The Turkish Authorities arrested a Nigerian citizen and four other nationals for alleged involvement in currency counterfeiting to the sum of $1 billion bound for African countries.

The details of the suspected individuals are Dele Bolade Samson with Nigerian and Swedish passports.

There is also a Ghanaian, Kean Kwasi Arhin, a Briton, Netanel Jakob Weiss and two Swedish citizens – Bo Nils Olof Forsaker and Peter Willi Herbert Schick.

“Pursuant to Regulation 4 of the Central Bank of Nigeria (Anti-Money Laundering, Combating the Financing of Terrorism and Countering Proliferation Financing of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Financial Institutions) Regulations, 2022, financial institutions are required to immediately take the following measures: Conduct searches of their database to determine whether there is any information about the above individuals; check whether they maintain any accounts or hold any funds or economic resources for the persons mentioned above; identify and file suspicious transaction reports to the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) and render NIL report to the NFIU where no such records exist,” the letter, sighted by The Guardian, directed.

The Director of Corporate Communications of the apex bank, Dr Isa Abdulmumin could not be reached for more details about the inquiry.