CBN vows to go after AbokiFX owner over ‘economic sabotage’

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has announced that the apex bank will go after the owner of AbokiFX, an online platform that publishes black market rates in Nigeria.

Emefiele made this disclosure at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting on Friday in Abuja.

According to the CBN Governor, the founder of the website, a London based Nigerian, Oniwinde Adedotun, would be made to face the full wrath of the law for economic sabotage.

He said: “On Aboki FX, yes unfortunately the Central Bank wrote a memo to banks and asked those banks to provide information about AbokiFX. We have been studying the activities of AbokiFX in the last two and half years.

“There was a particular time I called our colleagues to call the so-called owner of AbokiFX. We want to understand his model and the basis on how he came about advertising those rates.

“We found him as a Nigerian who lives in England and produces this nefarious and criminal activity on our economy. It is an economic sabotage and we will pursue him wherever he is.

“We will report him to international agencies, we will track him, Mr Oniwinde- we will find you, because we cannot allow you to continue to conduct an illegal activity that kills our economy.

“For those who think they are smart and they want to continue to sabotage the efforts of the Central Bank in running this economy for the good of Nigerians and this government, we will make life very difficult for you.”

Furthermore, Emefiele disclosed that AbokiFX was registered in the UK in November 2015, adding that the owner had claimed that there are other Nigerians who have significant interest in the business.

“But he does not want to name them. So, who are these significant persons behind him? Why are they hiding? This is on UK’s finding records and we will go there and conduct those investigations.

“He and the company have over 25 bank accounts with about eight banks in both naira and dollar with significant turnover also showing him simply milking the system through speculative activities on the Naira and collecting his proceeds in cash through a particular ATM in London,” he added.

Emefiele also alleged that CBN preliminary findings revealed that AbokiFX was built for the purpose of foreign exchange manipulations and speculations.

“He gets Naira notes and uses it to purchase dollars, take a position and change the rates over a given period, sell the dollars they purchased and make a profit. This is completely illegal; it is unacceptable and we will pursue them,” he added.

He warned companies patronising AbokiFX to desist or face CBN sanction.

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