Internet Fraudsters Bag One Year Jail Term, Forfeit N20m
Justice M.S. Hassan of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Tuesday, May 21, 2019, convicted and sentenced Paul Duru and Edet Efiong Daniel, to one year in prison each for Internet fraud.
The convicts were arrested in February 2019, following a petition received by the Commission from a new generation bank.
The financial institution allegedly discovered some suspicious transactions on an account belonging to Duru, who was subsequently arrested by operatives of the EFCC.
His arrest led to the apprehension of Daniel.
Duru was hired by Daniel, a cat fisher, who presented himself as Arbara Williams, a 27-year-old Caucasian.
A cat fisher is an individual who uses the Internet, and in particular, online dating websites to lure people into a scam romance.
Duru had a ‘picker’ in the United States of America, USA, one John T. Benn, who received money in Dollars and sent to him.
On his part, Daniel had a relationship with one Sung Yong Hwa, a Korean and Peter Davito, a Canadian.
The charge reads: “That you, Paul Duru and Edet Efiong Daniel, sometime in February 2019, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, fraudulently impersonated a white man online with intent to gain advantage for yourselves and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 22 (3) and (4) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition and Prevention etc) Act, 2015.”
The defendants pleaded "guilty" to the charge.
in view of the plea, the prosecuting counsel, Bilikisu Buhari Bala, informed the court of a plea bargain entered into by the defendants with the Commission and also prayed that they be convicted accordingly.
Delivering judgment, Justice Hassan convicted and sentenced the defendants to one year imprisonment each without an option of fine.
The Judge further ordered the forfeiture of two laptops, two phones, the sum of N17,500,000 belonging to Daniel and the sum of N2,500,000 belonging to Duru to the Federal Government.