Again, S’Africa seizes $5.7m arms cash from Nigeria

Arms and ammunations

Arms and ammunations

The Asset Forfeiture Unit of the National Prosecuting
Authority has seized $5.7m (R64m) for yet another arms
deal between South Africa and Nigeria.
This is the second multimillion-rand arms deal between the
two countries in the past month that has resulted in the
money being frozen in South African banks.
Last month, R103m in $100 bills stashed in suitcases was
seized at Lanseria Airport, north of Joburg.
The money was frozen in both cases for allegedly being the
proceeds of illegal transactions.
City Press’ sister paper Rapport has learnt that the
department for offences against the state in the Special
Investigating Unit is also involved.
Documents in the newspaper’s possession show that the
earlier consignment was approved by the Nigerian
government – that country’s national security adviser
personally issued the end-user certificate for the
transaction.
An entire “shopping list” was supplied with the certificate,
which included everything from helicopters to unmanned
aircraft, rockets and ammunition.
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 R60m into
Cerberus’ account at Standard Bank.
Cerberus was previously registered as a broker with the
National Conventional Arms Control Committee, 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.

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