Court sends fraudster to 235 years jail term

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The Court of Appeal in Calabar upheld the conviction of an international fraudster convicted for internet fraud.by a Federal High Court judge, Agatha Okeke in Uyo on 27 June 2022.

Agatha Okeke, convicted Scales Olatunji for internet fraud and money laundering charges amounting to N525,172,580 preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was sentenced to 235 years in prison without an option of a fine.

Mr Olatunji was prosecuted by the Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC, the anti-graft agency said in a statement posted on Twitter on Wednesday.

“The convict was prosecuted, following the receipt of a petition by Oslo Police District, Norway, requesting the assistance of the Commission in investigating a network of Nigerian citizens, who had serially duped some Norwegians,” the EFCC said in the statement.

According to the EFCC, Mr Olatunji belonged to a syndicate of internet fraudsters who specialised in compromising business emails.

The convict defrauded the Norwegian Government and its citizens to the tune of N525,172,580 and used the proceeds of the crime to purchase luxurious properties in choice areas within Lagos State.

The anti-graft agency said the offence contravenes provisions of Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.

But dissatisfied with the judgment of the trial court, the convict approached the appellate court, where he raised 11 grounds of appeal and prayed to the court to set aside the trial court’s judgment.

Delivering judgment on the matter, a three-person panel of the appellate court led by Justice Muhammed Idris dismissed the appeal because the prosecution counsel had proven his case beyond reasonable doubt and upheld the lower court’s decision.

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