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EFCC To Crack Down On Lottery- Betting Operator Launderers, Tax Evaders

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The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa has reiterated the Commission’s resolve to work with the National Lottery Trust Fund in combatting corruption in the lottery industry.

 

 

The EFCC chair who spoke through the Director of Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkol, on Tuesday, stated this when the Executive Secretary, National Lottery Trust Fund, Dr. Bello Maigari paid him a courtesy visit at the Commission’s headquarters, Jabi Abuja.

 

 

In his remarks, Maigari called on the EFCC to play a role in the recovery of statutory remittances due to the industry. He decried the nonchalant attitude of licensed lottery and gaming companies in fulfilling their obligations to government which according to him has put intervention programmes of the Trust Fund at risk.

 

 

He therefore called on the EFCC to help recover the huge lottery and gaming revenues illegally held by Value Added Services operators. He vowed that NLTF, “will do everything humanly possible to safeguard lottery as a national asset and will continue to support the work of the EFCC to achieve success for the good of the nation.”

 

 

Maigari also appealed to the EFCC to establish a desk to help address some of the challenges confronting stakeholders in the industry.

 

 

Responding, the EFCC Chairman reiterated the Commission’s resolve to work with relevant stakeholders to recover revenue due to the industry. “Some of the issues you raised I must say that they are very worrisome; the EFCC has never shied away from doing our work, most especially when it comes to economic crimes, we will try as much as we can to work with major stakeholders to address those issues.

 

 

“When we came onboard, this was one of the first things that we actually looked at, Lottery and tax; and we have a team that actually deal with that. Recently we designated an officer who handles this kind of issue, and presently we are doing a review of some of those cases,” the EFCC boss said.

 

 

 

Bawa stressed that aside from looking at revenue losses, “We are also not unmindful of the fact that lottery component are being used as avenues for money laundering; so, we are looking at the criminality aspect.”

 

 

The chairman promised to expand the Commission’s desk because the EFCC has the mandate and will pursue it diligently. “We are willing to expand our desk office to three or four people, because it is our mandate, we are not shying away from doing these things,” he assured

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Hushpuppi Pleads Guilty To Fraud

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Nigerian scammer Ramon Olorunwa Abbas also known as Hushpuppi has pleaded guilty to fraud in an American court.

 

 

United States Department of Justice (DoJ) in a statement on Wednesday said court documents show that Abbas, a 37-year-old Nigerian national, pleaded guilty on April 20.

 

 

A version of Hushpuppi’s plea agreement filed late Tuesday outlines his role in a school finance scheme, as well as several other cyber and business email compromise schemes that cumulatively caused more than $24 million in losses.

 

 

Acting United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said Hushpuppi allegedly faked the financing of a Qatari school by playing the roles of bank officials and creating a bogus website in a scheme that also bribed a foreign official to keep the elaborate pretense going after the victim was tipped off.

 

 

Wilkison stated that Hushpuppi played “a significant role in the scheme, funded his luxurious lifestyle by laundering illicit proceeds generated by con artists who use increasingly sophisticated means.”

 

 

Kristi K. Johnson, the Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office said Hushpuppi “among the most high-profile money launderers in the world, has admitted to his significant role in perpetrating global BEC fraud, a scheme currently plaguing Americans.

 

 

“His celebrity status and ability to make connections seeped into legitimate organizations and led to several spin-off schemes in the U.S. and abroad,” Johnson said in the DoJ statement.

 

 

Hushpuppi and members of his gang were arrested while sleeping at their Dubai residences in June 2020.

 

 

The Nigerian fraudster was arrested along with Olalekan Jacob Ponle, also known as Woodberry and 10 others.

 

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Alleged N29bn Fraud: You Have A Case To Answer, Court Tells Nyako, Son

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Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered Murtala Nyako (retd.) to enter his defence in the alleged N29 billion money laundering charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

 

 

Justice Abang gave the order on Monday while ruling on the no-case submission filed by the former Adamawa governor, his son Abdul-Aziz and other defendants in the matter.

 

 

The other defendants are Zulkifik Abba, Abubakar Aliyu, Blue Opal Ltd, Tower Assets Management Ltd and Crust Energy Ltd.

 

 

The judge said that he had painstakingly perused the evidence given by the 21 witnesses called by the prosecution and was of the view that the prosecution had established a prima facie case against the defendants.

 

 

“I have calmly, carefully, and painstakingly scrutinised the evidence adduced by the 21 witnesses in chief and under cross-examination including the oral and written arguments of all the defendants.

 

 

“I have again carefully and painstakingly considered the evidence of the 21 witnesses and the massive documentary evidence and the extrajudicial statements of the defendants.

 

 

“I have carefully considered the legal arguments of all the counsel for the defendants, their written and oral arguments, and the argument of the prosecution in this ruling.

 

“It is my humble but firm view that the prosecution has established a prima facie case against the defendants and they are required to enter their defence immediately.”

 

 

The judge held that the no-case submission filed by the defendants lacked merit and he accordingly dismissed it.

 

 

He adjourned the matter until October 4, October 5, October 7, and October 8 for the defendants to open their case.

 

 

The EFCC is prosecuting the former governor and his son, Abdul-Aziz; two companies, Sebore Farms and Extension Ltd and Pagado Fortunes Ltd, over money laundering offences.

 

 

The EFCC had arraigned them on a 37-count charge of criminal conspiracy, stealing, abuse of office, and money laundering.

 

 

The trial began on July 7, 2015, and the anti-graft agency closed its case on November 3, 2019, having called 21 witnesses to establish its case against the defendants.

 

 

Instead of opening their defence, the defendants elected to file a no-case submission in which they argued that the facts adduced by all the witnesses called by the prosecution did not prove the allegation against them.

 

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Kano Police Arrest 10 For Allegedly Hacking Bank Accounts

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The police in Kano State have confirmed the arrest of eight men and two women for allegedly belonging to a syndicate that specialises in hacking individuals’ bank accounts to withdraw money.

 

 

The Public Relations Officer, DSP Abdullahi Haruna-Kiyawa, disclosed this in a statement in Kano.

 

 

“On July 14, at about 23:50hrs, a team of policemen led by DSP Kabir Wali working on credible information arrested the suspects in a hotel in Kano metropolis.

 

 

“The suspects are Umar Aminu, Muhammad Muhammad, Kabiru Idris, Salim Sani, Umar Muhammad, Yusuf Ibrahim, Aminu Lawan, Jibril Aliyu, Hauwa Abubakar and Aisha Abubakar.

 

 

“They all reside in Sheka quarters, Kano and were arrested in connection with electronic card-related fraud,” Haruna-Kiyawa said.

 

 

He said that the suspects confessed to hacking various individuals bank accounts and withdrawing various amounts of money.

 

 

The Commissioner of Police, Mr Sama’ila Shu’aibu-Dikko, he said, has ordered for discreet investigation into the matter.

 

 

He added that the suspects would be charged to court after investigations.

 

 

In a related development, Haruna-Kiyawa confirmed the arrest of 21 armed robbery suspects, seven kidnap suspects, 23 drug dealers, 18 suspected fraudsters, five vehicle theft suspects, 11 cattle rustlers and 140 notorious thugs.

 

 

He said that the suspects were arrested in the 44 Local Government Councils of the state under a “clearance Operations” to rid the state of all forms of crimes.

 

 

The spokesman said that nine locally-made guns, four vehicles and three motorcycles were recovered during the operation.

 

 

He said the police also recovered 265 knives, 28 scissors, 80 sharp rods, 145 parcels of dried leaves, 176 mobile phones, six cows and N3 million, among others during the operations.

 

 

(NAN)

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