Markets in Awka and Onitsha in Anambra state were on Friday raided by members of the Department of State Services (DSS) in search of illegal bureau de change (BDC) operators.
A trader at the Eke Market in Awka, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said some hawkers of foreign currencies were arrested.
He said that the DSS operatives also carted away huge sums of foreign currencies seized from the hawkers.
“We scampered for our lives when we saw them inside the market in the early hours of the day because no one knew their mission initially.
“They took over the market until later when we were able to find out their mission,’’ he said.
A senior official of the DSS, who confirmed the raid under condition of anonymity, said that they acted on directive.
He said that the exercise also took place in Onitsha, while other major markets in the state would also be raided.
“We are worried that some commercial banks’ officials were conniving with the hawkers in the markets to destabilize the government efforts to the sale the foreign currencies at cheaper rates.
“The economy is seriously affected by the actions of the illegal hawkers of foreign currencies.
“Our objective is to bring sanity in the system and let Nigerians procure the foreign currencies at government regulation,’’ he said.
He urged them to go and secure license to legalize their business operations.