Authorities in South Africa have reportedly squashed another arms deal involving Nigeria after seizing the sum of $5.7 million (N936,338,816.66).
Barely a month after apprehending 2 Nigerians and an Israeli, who were carrying $9.3 million in cash aboard a private jet, South African authorities have again intercepted funds meant for an arms deal involving Nigeria, City Press reports.
The sum of $5.7 million (N936,338,816.66) is said to have been seized by the Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in SA.
The report reads:
Sources close to the investigation said the latest transaction was between Cerberus Risk Solutions, an arms broker in Cape Town, and Societe D’Equipments Internationaux, a Nigerian company in Abuja.
An impeccable source said this company paid the R60 million into Cerberus’ account at Standard Bank.
Cerberus was previously registered as a broker with the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC), but the registration expired in May this year.
The marketing and contracting permits also expired at the same time.
The company has since applied for re-registration, but the application lay in the NCACC’s mailbox for more than two months.
Sources told Rapport that Cerberus apparently tried to pay the money back to the Nigerian company, after which the bank became suspicious.
The NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit subsequently obtained a court order in the South Gauteng High Court to seize the money.
Cerberus’ attorney, Martin Hood, this week declined to comment on the matter.
NPA spokesperson Nathi Mncube said there were no indications that the two transactions were related.
“However, both are now the subject of a criminal investigation and all possible information and connections are being investigated,” said Mncube.
The previous arms deal involved a jet belonging to the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Ayo Oritsejafor.
Nigerian authorities reportedly defended the deal by saying that the arrangement was necessary because the US wouldn’t permit the purchase of arms in the proper way. The US has since denied this allegation.