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Nigerian Billionaire Walter Wagbatsoma Goes On Trial In The Uk For £12m Fraud

A Nigerian oil and gas businessman, Walter Wagbatsoma, has been extradited to the United Kingdom and charged under an investigation into fraud and money laundering involving the NHS.

Wagbatsoma, managing director of Ontario Oil and Gas Ltd, arrived the UK on Thursday for the trial at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court at the weekend.

According to a UK-based newspaper, Lincolnshire Echo, Wagbatsoma who was extradited from Germany, was accused of money laundering in a multi-million pound fraud. He appeared before Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The oil magnate was detained last month in Germany after Lincolnshire Police issued a European Arrest Warrant, he was extradited to the UK on Thursday, when he was charged with conspiracy to money laundering.

The Economic Crime Unit of Lincolnshire Police has been conducting a major investigation with the NHS involving offences of fraud and money laundering in excess of £12 million, in which at least 15 people were implicated.

The investigation commenced in September 2011 following a report of fraud involving Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Since then the investigation has linked 20 other offences where the victims include other NHS Trusts, the States of Guernsey Government and other public bodies.

As a result of the investigation, 15 suspects were charged with offences of conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and conspiracy to launder money, and all have since been indicted to stand trial.
Wagbatsoma, one of the prime suspects, was detained in Germany following the issue of a European Arrest Warrant by Lincolnshire Police on Monday, June 6, 2016.

The Nigerian is suspected of laundering funds from overseas in the UK.

He had earlier appeared in court in Nigeria concerning a N1.9 billion oil subsidy fraud for the purported importation of 39.2 million litres of petrol; the trial is still being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, which is seeking his conviction for fraud and money laundering, among other charges.

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