According to Reuters, South African custom officers discovered the money after searching the chartered aircraft, a Bombardier Challenger 600, which brought in the Nigerians from Abuja, capital of the country.
One Captain Tunde Ojongbede piloted the plane.
Adrian Lackay, spokesperson for the South African Revenue Service (SARS), said that three suitcases full of cash was discovered when the passengers’ luggage was unloaded and put through the scanners at Lanseria international airport, Johannesburg, on September 5.
According to Lackay, they provided documentation confirming they had come to South Africa to buy weapons and told officials they were acting on behalf of the Nigerian intelligence service, the National Conventional Arms Control Committee, which has to approve the import and export of any weapons as well as issue permits for such transactions in South Africa, claimed not to be aware of the deal. SARS therefore seized the funds and transferred it to the central bank, pending the investigation of the police.