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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Court jails eight for internet fraud in Uyo

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Eight internet fraudsters have been sentenced to prison terms by the Federal High Court in Calabar, Cross River State.

The convicts are Abasiofon Daniel Essien (aka Jason Momoa), Gideon Junior, Edikan Ubong, Harrison Chiemelie, Ndifereke Umoh, Christopher Promise, Effiong Wisdom and Godswill Nsikan.

They were prosecuted by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the anti-graft agency said in a statement on Saturday.

Charges

All eight were separately charged with impersonation, identity theft and obtaining by false pretense. All of them pleaded guilty, according to the EFCC statement.

One of the charges against Mr. Essien reads: “That you, Abasiofon Daniel Essien (also known as Jason Momoa), sometime in 2023, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court, came into possession of $300 ( three hundred US dollars) intentionally, knowing that the money formed part of the proceeds of an illegal act, namely: identity theft and, therefore, committed an offense contrary to Section 18 (2) (d) of the Law Money Laundering (Prevention and Prohibition) Act, 2022 and punishable under Section 18 (3) of the same Act.”

One of the charges against Mr. Wisdom reads: “That you, Effiong Wisdom “M” (also known as Pamela Randy), sometime in November 2023, in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court, filed fraudulently as Pamela Randy to Michael Moore on the social media platform: Facebook/Instagram, with the intention of gaining advantage for yourself, took possession of the sum of $170 (one hundred and seventy US dollars) knowing that the money was part of the proceeds of an illegal act, namely: identity theft committed in that way. an offense contrary to Section 18(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition and Prevention) Act, 2022 and punishable under Section 18(3) of the same Act.”

Prosecutor Khamis Mahmud had submitted to the court the fraudsters’ confessional statements and the incriminating contents of their mobile phones as evidence and urged the court to find them guilty and sentence them accordingly.

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Condemnation, sentence

Judge Rosemary Oghoghorie found them guilty and sentenced them to two years in prison each.

Judge Oghoghorie gave Umoh, Promise, Chiemelie and Nsikan the option of paying a fine of N2 million each, while Junior, Essien and Ubong were given the option of paying a fine of N1.5 million each. Wisdom was given the option of paying a fine of N1 million.

READ ALSO: EFCC arrests ex-bankers for allegedly stealing from deceased client’s account

Additionally, Essien, Junior, Ubong and Chiemelie will repay $100, $300, $170 and $140,000.00 respectively to their victims, while Umoh, Promise, Wisdom and Nsikan will repay $70, $140, $100,000.00 and $50. Nsikan dollars, respectively, to his victims. victims.

In addition, they handed over their phones to the government, which were the tools of their crimes.

All the convicts were arrested by operatives of the Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC.

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