The Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, June 24, 2021, secured the conviction of four internet fraudsters in Calabar, Cross River State.
The four internet fraudsters were arraigned before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, Cross River State.
The convicts: Eneji Emmanuel, (a.k.a Karen Moana, Buccly Clunder, Mainer Chic, Karen Klunder) Adie Stephen Udie (alias Laura Vazquze), Nwandike Kelechi (a.k.a Bradley) and Victor Francis (alias Donald Walter), pleaded guilty to separate charges bordering on love scam and obtaining by false pretence.
In view of their pleas, the prosecution counsel, Segun R. Akinrinlade urged the court to convict them in accordance with the plea bargain agreement among the parties.
The defence counsel, C.O.Bassey and Innocent Eze pleaded with the court for leniency.
After listening to the Counsel, the judge convicted and sentenced the defendants as follows:
Enegi Emmanuel was sentenced to three months imprisonment for using a fictitious email ([email protected]) to register for the American Paycheck Protection (PPP) loan, a benefit meant for US citizens, and used same to defraud unsuspecting citizens of their hard-earned money.
He was however given an option of fine of One Hundred Thousand Naira (N100,000.00) to be paid into the Federal Government’s account and community service at the Federal High Court and Ministry of Social Welfare Calabar, for a period of one month which must be supervised by the court and the EFCC.
While Adie Stephen was sentenced to six months imprisonment for fraudulently impersonating one Laura Vazquez, an American citizen, and Dave Daley, the court ordered that the items recovered from him which include a black Toyota Corolla car 2009 model (still unregistered), iPhone 7 and iPhone XS mobile phones, be auctioned and the proceeds paid into the Federal Government’s account.
Nwandike Kelechi was sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of Three Hundred Thousand (N300,000.00) fine and one month of community service.
The court also ordered that the convict forfeits the following items to the Federal Government – iPhone 11 Pro Max and HP Intel(R) Core laptop.
Victor Francis was convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment for fraudulently obtaining the sum of $1,200 (One Thousand Two Hundred US Dollars) from one Jean Judson.
The convict was also given an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira (N200,000.00) fine plus one month of community service.
He is to forfeit an iPhone 11 to the Federal Government, as well as, restitute the victim in the sum of One Thousand Two Hundred US Dollars ($1,200).
After sentencing the convicts, Justice Ojukwu further ordered that they be remanded at the Correctional Service facility in Calabar until they have paid the various fines pronounced by the court.
The convicts were arrested by operatives of the Uyo zonal office of the Commission in a sting operation on May 18, 2021.