Internet Fraud: EFCC Secures Four Convictions in One Day
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Office, on Monday, May 13, 2019 secured four different convictions at a Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The convicts are: Wasiu Rasak, Chinedu Jude Abah, Rome Steven Itimi and Richard Uduma.
They were all convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment each by Justice M.I. Sani.
Rasak was arraigned on a one-count charge bordering on money laundering.
The charge reads: “That you, Wasiu Rasak, sometime in July 2018, at Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Judicial Division of the High Court, retained the sum of N1,350,00.00 (One Million Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira) on behalf of Ola Oladipupo which is a proceed of a crime, knowing or suspecting him to be engaged in a criminal conduct, thereby committed an offence, contrary to section 17(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under section 17(b) of the same Act.”
He pleaded “guilty” to the charge.
Both prosecuting counsel, Samuel Chime and defence counsel, Obinna Ofodile agreed on the convict's plea of “guilty”.
Rasak got into trouble when he posed as a lawyer to defraud a lady of the sum of N1,350,000. The lady was deceived by a fake lover, Moferere Temilola, who promised her marriage. They dated for two months. However, on a particular day, Rasak called her that her proposed husband was in prison over a case and that he needed a sum of N1.5 million to resolve the matter. The petitioner quickly raised N1.35 million and sent it to the supposed lawyer, Rasak to resolve the matter.
After a while, Rasak started making other financial demands from her on behalf of the proposed husband. This fuelled the petitioner's suspicion that she was being scammed and so petitioned the EFCC.
Justice Sani sentenced him to six months imprisonment without an option of fine.
Chinedu Jude Abah and Rome Steven Itimi were arraigned on a two-count charge bordering on obtaining under false pretence.
One of the charges reads: “That you, Chinedu Jude Abah, sometime between the month of March and April 2018, at Port Harcourt within the Port Harcourt Judicial Division of the High Court retained the sum of N407,800 on behalf of Glory Ndubichi which is proceed of crime, knowing or suspecting her to be engaged in criminal conduct to wit: obtaining money by false, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 17(a) of Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under section 17(b) of the same Act.”
They pleaded “guilty” upon their arraignment.
Both the prosecution counsel, J.N. Dogonyaro and defence counsel, Chioma Choko agreed on their pleas of “guilty”.
Justice Sani convicted and sentenced them to six months imprisonment each, taking effect from the day of their arrest.
Troubles came for both of them for conspiring with a fraudster, Glory Ndubuisi to dupe innocent buyers of their online products: bags, shoes, clothes and other items. Ndubuisi was using her Instagram handle: madam_funmi_wardrobe to defraud members of the public by placing items on the internet for sale.
Investigations by the EFCC showed that several victims made payments totalling N588,300 (Five Hundred and Eighty-Eight Thousand Three Hundred Niara) into her account and the money was subsequently transferred to Abah and Itimi. They neither delivered the items paid for by their victims, nor did they return their money to them.
The fourth convict, Richard Uduma (aka Richard Dominic; Meryer R. Mark) was sentenced to six months imprisonment for obtaining documents containing false pretence. He was arraigned before Justice Sani on one-count charge bordering on possession of documents containing false pretence contrary to section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act.
The count reads: “That you, Richard Uduma, (aka Richard Dominic, Meyer Mark) on or about February 2019, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court had in your possession (in your HP Laptop with serial number 5CB41243FT), documents containing false pretence which you knew or ought to know contains false pretence and thereby committed an offence of an attempt to commit an offence contrary to section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006 and Punishable Under section 1(3) of the same Act.”
Uduma was arrested by EFCC operatives along Liberty Drive, Woji, Port Harcourt for internet- related offences, based on special surveillance and intelligence.
Uduma also pleaded “guilty” to the charge upon arraignment.
Both the prosecution counsel, Samuel Chime and defence counsel, Reginald Iroegbu agreed on his plea of “guilty”.
Justice Sani convicted and sentenced him to six months imprisonment without an option of fine. The sentence runs concurrently.