Acting on a tip-off, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday found $43.4 million, N23 million and £27,000 cash at House 16, Osborne Road in Ikoyi, Lagos Island.
The anti-graft agency suspected that the cash might have been proceeds of crime kept at the residence to prevent any bank alert.
But the identity of the owner of the cash was kept under wraps pending the conclusion of investigations.
It was, however, suspected that the cash might have been laundered by politically-exposed persons and former political office holders through fronts.
A reliable source, who spoke in confidence, said: “We acted on intelligence report that huge cash in an apartment in Osborne Towers, Ikoyi, Lagos.
“A whistle blower who had insider knowledge of how the funds were kept in some locked up rooms in the house alerted the EFCC.
The operation followed a whistle blower’s confidential alert received by the Commission’s Lagos office regarding some noticed suspicious movement of bags in and out of a particular apartment in the building. According to the source, the movers of the bags made believe that they were bringing in bags of clothes.
A source who is conversant with the apartment of interest indicated that a woman usually appeared on a different occasion with Ghana Must Go bags.
“She comes looking haggard, with dirty clothes but her skin didn’t quite match her outward appearance, perhaps a disguise,” the source said.
On getting to the building, operatives met the entrance door locked. Inquiries from the guards at the gate explained that nobody resides in the apartment, but some persons come in and out once in a while. In compliance with the magisterial order contained in the warrant, the EFCC used minimum force to gain entrance into the apartment.
Monies were found in two of the four bedroom apartment. A further probe of the wardrobe by operatives in one of the rooms was found to be warehousing three fireproof cabinets disguisedly hidden behind wooden panels of the wardrobe. Upon assessing the content of the cabinets, neatly arranged were US dollars, British pound sterlings, and some naira notes in sealed wrappers.
The facility is said to be owned by Osborne Towers Resident Association.