JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A Nigerian watchdog group Friday demanded an international investigation into the Nigerian government for flying $9.3 million in cash to South Africa to buy weapons.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project petitioned the Paris-based Financial Action Task Force "to investigate admission by the government of Nigeria that it hired a private jet to convey $9.3 million in cash to procure arms from South Africa."
South African customs officials last week seized the money in $100 bills in three suitcases that arrived on a private jet from Nigeria at Johannesburg's Lanseria airport. Police said they questioned two Nigerians and an Israeli who did not declare the money.
The Accountability Project said in a statement Friday that Nigeria has flouted standards to deter illicit flows of money set by the Financial Action Task Force, of which it is a member.
The FATF has said the cross-border transportation of currency is "one of the main methods used to move illicit funds, launder money and finance terrorism."
Nigeria's Senate Committee on Defense has summoned all the military chiefs and the national security adviser to appear before it next week to explain what they know about the smuggled money and arms deal.