An employee of the Nigeria high commission UK was caught on camera agreeing to help smuggle illegal items out of the United Kingdom, using his diplomatic ties.
In an undercover investigation by ITV’s ‘Exposure’, Alfa Abutu could be seen explaining the processes one could employ if any persons wanted to smuggle items including stolen art, drugs and large sums of money out of the UK to destinations in Africa including Nigeria, Ghana and other parts of West Africa.
Speaking to undercover reporters who unbeknownst to him were posing as criminal gangs, Abutu said, “Give me your suitcase, this suitcase usually has to be wrapped with the national flag before we can move it anywhere. And we use diplomatic vehicle whereby the police authorities will not stop us,”.
“The easiest way is that, let’s say this box is loaded with $1 million and they are going out with it or gold, or diamond. With my link, we use a diplomatic vehicle from here straight to Heathrow or Gatwick.”
“They will not open the box they are bringing out. It’s not a problem,” he said.
The embassy worker has denied all allegations leveled by the TV station saying he was only a local staff who had no diplomatic privileges. He also maintained that he had never been involved in any criminal activities.
In a swift move, the UK Nigeria High Commission has suspended Mr Abutu in light of the revelations.
Spokesperson Mr Ahmed Inusa told ITV, “The Commission supports the press and the media in their good work to expose embassy workers…who either pose as diplomats with a view to committing criminal acts for financial gains or diplomats who abuse their diplomatic privileges for any reason.’
“The Mission thanks ITV staff in particular, for the good work they have done.”
He further went on to say that The Nigeria High Commission ‘utterly condemns Mr Abutu’s conduct.’
Mr Abutu has now been suspended from his position at the embassy where he worked in the accounts department for 6 years.