Again, EFCC Arrests Internet Fraudsters in Niger Delta

The Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested ten suspected Internet fraudsters. They were arrested in different locations and at different times across Port Harcourt (Rivers State), Warri (Delta State) and Asaba (Delta State) in a sting operation.

The suspects are: Alia Jamike Chinemerem; Ogbiugba Ifeany Henry; Uchanna Cyril; Samuel Obomovo; Israel Ogagaoghene; Israel Diaso; Aghariagbonse Destiny; Aretuemhen Frank, Paul Esibhakpen and Loius Idehen. Investigations showed that the suspects were involved in love scam with many of them purporting to be officers of American Army.

Various scam mails where the suspects posed as officers of US Army were traced to them. One of the suspects, Israel Diasco had successfully defrauded an Indian lady, Promilla Lama of huge amount of money still being verified. Another, Chinemerem, (alias Good Thaddy) confessed to be a picker.

A picker is a fraudster that provides foreign accounts to other Internet fraudsters which they usually used to receive money from any unfortunate victim. A picker is allegedly paid 30% of the total amount received in any of such accounts.

Meanwhile, the Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office has secured 33 convictions so far in 2018. This was disclosed on Thursday, 20th December, 2018 by the Zonal Head, Mr. Nnaghe Obono Itam in a News Conference in Port Harcourt.

Also, a total sum of N1, 674, 891, 899( One Billion, Six Hundred and Seventy Four Million, Eight Hundred and Ninety One Thousand, Eight Hundred and Ninety Nine Naira) only had been recovered during the period. Also recovered were various sums of $ 552, 368. 55 (Five Hundred and Fifty Two Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Eight Thousand, Fifty Five Dollars) and 5, 225 Euros.

Meanwhile, the Port Harcourt’s Zonal office has commenced investigation of a total number of 358 (Three Hundred and Fifty Eight) Trucks arrested for sundry illegal oil bunkering cases. They were handed over to the EFCC by the 6 Mechanized Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Itam said that the volume of petroleum products carried by the Trucks was 219, 688. 27 metric tonnes. The products are suspected to be Automotive Gas Oil (AGO). 18 Oil Vessels, 13 Barges and 2 Boats were also being investigated for illegal oil bunkering offenses.

Tony Orilade
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity

EFCC Impostor, Two Others Bag Five-Year Jailterm

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Gombe Zonal Office, on December 20, 2018 secured the conviction of Muhammed Haladu of Dengi, Kanam Local Government, Plateau State, on a one-count charge bordering on cheating, contrary to Section 320 (a) of the Penal Code.

Haladu was brought before Justice Abubakar Jauro of the Gombe State High Court, for posing as an EFCC operative, to defraud a businessman, Ayuba Pyokdom of N100,000 (One Hundred Thousand Naira) in the guise that it will be used to help “bury” an investigation into a petition against him. It however turned out to be false.

When the charge was read to him, he did not waste the time of the Court as he pleaded “guilty”.

Justice Jauro, thereafter, convicted and sentenced him to one year in prison with an option of N20, 000 fine.

In a related development, the EFCC secured the conviction of Abubakar Umar and Nafiu Ibrahim for offences bordering on conspiracy and cheating.

Umar and Ibrahim were arraigned before Justice Jauro on a two-count charge. They allegedly defrauded Hadiza Bajoga and Rakiya Yakubu of about N4 million.

The EFCC had received a petition from his victims. Subsequently, an investigation was launched into the alleged crime, which led to their arrest in Kano State.

One of the counts reads: “That you Abubakar Ahmed Umar and Nafiu Ibrahim sometime in December 2017 or thereabout at Gombe, Gombe State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did fraudulently induce one Hadiza Yakubu to deliver to you monies totalling the sum of N4,000,000 (Four Million Naira Only) on WhatsApp group chat, under the name “Success Oil & Gas” and that the said sum was to be used for investing in Oil and Gas business which you knew same to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 320 and Punishable under Section 322 of the Penal Code Law”.

They pleaded “guilty” to the charges when they were read to them.

Based on their pleas, prosecuting counsel, Zarami Muhammad, asked the court to convict them accordingly.

Defence counsel, I. A. Muhammad, however, pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy as they were first time offenders and “they have shown remorse and promised not to commit such offence again”.

In his ruling, the trial judge noted that “their action is criminal in nature, and apart from the victims, the consequences will also affect the state”.

“But considering that they are young and first time offenders, they should be given a second opportunity in order to become good people in the society,” the trial judge held.

He, thereafter, sentenced them to two years in prison for each count to run consecutively, with an option of N80, 000. Justice Jauro also ordered the EFCC to pay the amount recovered from the convicts, to their victim.

Tony Orilade

Ag. Head, Media & Publicity