FCMB Reports Nigerian Man To EFCC After $54,000 Was Deposited In His Bank Account

A man who was suspected of fraud was reported to the EFCC by FCMB after an inflow of $54,000 was deposited in his account.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission () has dragged one before Federal High in Lagos following a petition against him and his firm, Asej Global Services, by First City Monument Bank ().

In a 20-paragraph affidavit filed in support of the motion on notice, the EFCC is seeking the permanent forfeiture of the sum of $54,000 which was deposited in the domiciliary account of Asej Global Services, operated by Ojo Temitope Francis.

Following the petition by FCMB, the investigating officer with EFCC, Peter Chidinma, told the presiding judge, Justice Muslim Hassan, that the deposited funds were suspected to be from cyber fraud activities.

Chimdinma said: “The petitioner, First City Monument Bank, enquired about the nature of the funds and the account holder (Francis) claimed that they were from his friend and associate, George Edwards Cook, residing in the United States and that the funds were for the purchase of properties on behalf of the said friend and business associate.

“That upon further enquiry, the suspect provided a copy of the driver’s licence of a white man, purporting that it belonged to the said friend and business associate residing in the United States and could not provide information on the nature of their business.

“That in the course of investigation, a letter of request for assistance was sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to assist in locating and interviewing the said business associate, Mr George Edward Cook.

“That in response to the letter of request for assistance sent to the FBI, it was revealed that the said George Edward Cook had been flagged by the US Department of Treasury and US Banking Financial Security Network as a known fraudster.

“Investigation further revealed that as of December 2017, George Edward Cook utilised counterfeit cheques to deposit $44,480 but was denied and is currently unable to secure any new US-based bank account under his name due to his ban by FINCEN.

“That so far, the team has been able to establish that one Ojo Temitope Francis, hiding under the cover of the suspect, Asej Global Services, operated a domiciliary account in FCMB and received funds from George Edward Cook, who has been identified as a US-based fraudster.

“That the whereabouts of the said Mr George Edward Cook is unknown and he is likely trying to transfer his ill-gotten funds from the US to Nigeria through the domiciliary account of the suspect.”

Following an ex parte application by the EFCC, Justice Hassan had earlier made an order for the temporary forfeiture of the $54,000 to the Federal Government.

On Monday, counsel for the EFCC, S.I. Suleiman, said the anti-graft agency had last year August published the interim forfeiture order in The Nation newspaper, for anyone interested to see and come to court.

Suleiman said as no one had come forward to oppose the application for the permanent forfeiture of the funds, the judge should order same forfeited to the Federal Government.

After hearing the lawyer out, Justice Hassan fixed March 27 for judgment.

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