Wilson UWUJAREN, Head Media and Publicity EFCC Abuja/
BENIN-OPERATIVES of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Benin Zonal Command on Thursday, January 12, 2023 arrested 12 (twelve) suspected internet fraudsters in Benin- City, Edo State.
Among those arrested is Okunrobo Smart who was convicted in 2022 for internet fraud. Others are Edobor Francis Tobilola, Peace Omo Bartholomew, Justice Osagie Beggedo, Samuel Okosun, Uche Divine, Christopher Lawani Iwinosa, Osayi Gregory, Anthony Irabor, Olaleye Favour, Osagie Hope Godstime, and Desmond Ehator Osorumwense
They were arrested at their hideout in Benin City, following actionable intelligence. Items recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest include mobile phones, laptops and a Mercedes Benz C300. The suspects will be arraigned in court soon.
Meanwhile, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court, Benin City on Wednesday January 18, 2023 convicted and sentenced two internet fraudsters to six years imprisonment for fraud.
The duo – Osemudiamen Aganjile and Ekoh Godswill, were arraigned by the Benin Zonal Command of the Commission on separate one count charge of personation and intent to defraud.
The charge against Aganjile reads: That you OSEMUDIAMEN AGANJILE (M) sometime between 2021 to 1st September, 2022 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be LUCAS SCOTT from United State of America and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Law Cap. 48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (As Applicable in Edo State), 1976.
The charge against Godswill reads: That you EKOH GODSWILL (M) sometime between 2021 to 9th September, 2022 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did with intent to defraud represent yourself to be MARTHA FX, a verified and legitimate Bitcoin Trader and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 484 of the Criminal Code Law Cap. 48, Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (As Applicable in Edo State), 1976.
Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges. In view of their pleas, prosecution counsel, I.K. Agwa prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly. However, the defence counsel, S.A.Aichienede pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants were first-time offenders who have become remorseful for their actions.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced the duo to three years imprisonment each with an option of N200, 000 ( Two Hundred Thousand Naira) fine.
The convicts are to forfeit their phones and the balance of Three Million, Six Hundred and Seventy Seven Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Six (N3,677,986) found in Aganjile’s UBA and First Bank account; and the sum of N767,677 ( Seven Hundred and Sixty Seven Thousand, Six Hundred and seventy Seven Naira) in Godswill’s Sterling Bank account, being proceeds of crime to the Federal government of Nigeria through the EFCC.
The defendants are to undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth. The convicts’ journey to the Correctional Centre began when they were arrested by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the EFCC for internet-related offences. They were charged to court and convicted.