The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a Lebanese identified as Hamza Koudeih alleged to be an accomplice to Bureau De’ Change operator, Mompha.
According to reports, Koudeih was arrested after a three-hour stand-off with EFCC operatives at his N1.8 billion luxury apartment in the 33-storey Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island, Lagos.
The apartment was fortified with triple reinforced fire-proof door and closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and they could not gain entrance, The Nation reports.
This platform gathered that the EFCC operatives gained access into the apartment by trying to break down the door with breaching tools, after which his wife claimed that he had escaped.
Koudeih’s apartment is on the topmost floors of Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, said to be the tallest apartment building in Nigeria.
Found in fire-proof safe were different charms and talismans in calabashes, which the suspect said he used as prayer tools.
According to EFCC, the Lebanese admitted they were his “prayer objects”. Two luxury cars were also recovered from him and two other persons arrested with him.
Confirming the arrest, EFCC Lagos Zonal Head, Mr. Mohammed Rabo said “Our officials knew that he was still inside and they were even hoping to persuade him not to jump out through the window because it would be suicide.”
But they did not find Koudeih in any of the rooms until they observed that a part of the ceiling in his bedroom had been artificially sealed.
They pushed it open and found Koudeih hiding in the ceiling.
Rabo said: “Actionable intelligence received from local and international law enforcement agencies had revealed that Koudeih and Mompha alongside their collaborators are high valued targets in Organised Cyber Syndicate Network (OCSN).
“Investigations have also revealed that Mompha uses a firm known as Ismalob Global Investments Limited to perpetrate about N14 billion money laundering while Koudeih also operate two firms namely: THK Services Limited and CHK properties Limited to launder about N19 billion.”
EFCC has meanwhile discovered 51 Nigerian bank accounts opened by Mompha for money laundering.
The commission also revealed that the five wristwatches recovered from Mompha at his arrest on Tuesday are worth over N60 million, rather than the N20 million earlier thought.