Operatives of the rivers state police command and the department of state services have arrested 13 women who allegedly specialised in illegal sale of naira notes.
The women were accused of selling new currencies to members of the public, who would later spray them at parties.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Nnamdi Omoni, told PUNCH Metro in Port Harcourt on Wednesday that a total sum of N2.9m of various denominations were recovered from the suspects.
Omoni explained that the suspects, who were arrested on Tuesday at Garrison, Rumuola and Rumuokwurusi areas, were currently being interrogated by the DSS.
He stated that Section 21, Sub-section 1 of the Nigerian Constitution had made the sale of naira notes, coins and any other legal tender an offence.
The state police spokesman pointed out that that the sting operation by the police and the DSS was carried out in conjunction with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Omoni said, “On Tuesday December 12, 2017, men of the command and the Department of the State Services, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria, clamped down on illegal naira vendors.
“In all, a total sum of N2.9m was recovered from the suspects. Investigation is on to ascertain the sources of the new naira notes.
“The operation shall be a continuous exercise by the relevant security agencies with a view to clamping down on persons illegally dealing in Nigeria’s legal tender.”
Omoni also cautioned against the act of soiling the naira notes, spraying them at parties and writing on them, adding that security agencies would not spare any person caught in such acts.
“The naira note is one of our symbols of national identity and should be respected; or else, the long arm of the law will catch up with offenders,” he said