GANTA, Nimba – Police in Ganta arrested a 30-year-old Nigerian identified as Ogochukwo P. Odon for possession of L$1 million (US$6,451.61) in counterfeit notes.
Odon told reporters on July 4 shortly after his arrest that the counterfeit Liberian banknotes were printed in Nigeria and brought by him to Liberia to exchange for U.S. dollars.
“I printed it in Nigeria, but I don’t know the [total] amount,” he said. “I used 200,000 Naira [US$555] to print the money.”
Odon said he is not aware of where the money was printed in Nigeria, but said it was delivered to him following a phone call by another Nigerian man whose name he did not know.
The suspect said he got involved in the process of selling counterfeit banknotes through a friend he met that connected him to the producers. He claimed that this is his first time being involved in such a deal.
“I never do it before, this is my first time,” he said. “I don’t know what to do right now. I am confused; I don’t have anybody here.”
Odon did not say during the preliminary investigation with Police in Ganta how he managed to beat security checks to enter Liberia with the counterfeit banknotes, but he had entered the country through the Ganta-Guinea border.
Odon has been forwarded to the central police headquarters in Monrovia, for further investigations.
In June, police in Monrovia also arrested a Nigerian clergyman for possessing counterfeit U.S. banknotes. The arrest of the two men comes at a time of accelerating depreciation of the Liberian dollar against the U.S. dollar, prompting calls on the government to stabilize the economy.
Featured photo by S. Kannay Ziamo/LINA. S. Kannay Ziamo of LINA also contributed to this article.