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South Africa will do anything to keep good relations with Nigeria.

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South African High Commissioner to Nigeria, Myakayaka Manzini, who featured in a programme on African International Television, AIT, “Matters Arising”, yesterday, said the process of refunding the money has started.

He also said, “both countries have decided on a political solution to the issue. Nigeria is a big ally and a brother.”

South Africa will do all it can to maintain cordial relations with Nigeria. The country has supplied arms to Nigeria and ready to sell defense weapons to Boko Haram.

South African authorities seized $5.7 million arms money from Nigeria, three weeks later another $9.3 million cash was seized after two Nigerians and an Israeli  smuggled in the money for arms purchase. The total amount seized to $15 million (about N2 billion).

The private jet transporting the $9.3 million, stashed in three suitcases, landed at Lanseria International Airport, Johannesburg, on September 5. South Africa Revenue Service, SARS, said customs officers became suspicious when the passengers’ luggage were unloaded and put through the scanners.

The National Prosecuting Authority, NPA, in South Africa said there was an invoice for helicopters and armaments intended to be used in Nigeria.

The second transaction for $9.3 million, was between Cerberus Risk Solutions, an arms broker in Cape Town, and Societe D’Equipments Internationaux, said to be a Nigerian company based in Abuja.

It was gathered that the deal, however, collapsed after Cerberus which had earlier received from Nigeria R60 million (N1.02 billion) in its account at Standard Bank, tried to repay the money as it could not resolve its registration formalities with the South African authorities.

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.

The envoy, however, did not give the timeline when the seized money will be returned but assured that it will be very soon.
It was said that an alleged attempt by Cerberus to pay the money back to the Nigerian company, alerted bank officials who became suspicious.

The Nigerian government, however, argued that both transactions were legitimate and there was nothing shady in the arms deal.

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