Ikeja Special Offences Court has sentenced two fraudsters, Tobiloba Ibrahim Bakare and Seun Sikiru Alimi, to three years’ imprisonment for stealing $750,000 (N285m) and N120 million from KLM, Turkish Airline and British Airways.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo convicted and jailed the duo after they entered into a plea bargain agreement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC had arraigned them of hacking into the electronic mails of the airlines and stealing the sums, and they pleaded guilty to the seven-count charge filed against them.
EFCC counsel, Mr Idris Mohammed, told the court that the stolen funds were laundered by the duo through First Bank of Nigeria, Sterling Bank and Polaris Bank.
According to him, the offences contravened Sections 411 and 328(1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015, and punishable under Section 328 of the law.
While reviewing the facts of the case, the counsel said that the anti-graft agency had on Sept. 2, 2020, received intelligence about suspicious transactions and money laundering.
He said that an investigation by the Advance Fee Fraud Section of the commission led to the arrest of one Kehinde Adelakun, who was convicted by the court in October 2020.
The prosecutor told the court that Sikiru’s name and his company, Alvine First Resources Ventures, came up during investigation of Adelakun.
“Upon analysis of the two accounts belonging to the second defendant, several inflows were discovered from different companies between March and July 2020. They were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.
“Further analysis of the accounts showed that there was a balance of N196.7 million and N9.3 million retained in the Sterling Bank and Polaris Bank accounts of Sikiru.
“The second defendant, when confronted, admitted that the majority of the funds received in his accounts were from the first defendant (Bakare),” the prosecution counsel submitted.
Mohammed added that during interrogation, Bakare admitted that from 2009 to 2020, he was into business email compromise fraud.
“Bakare said he hacked into the emails of KLM, Turkish Airlines and British Airways, and in the course of perpetrating the said fraud, benefitted the total sum of $750,000.
”The second defendant benefitted the sum of N120 million through his conspirator, Dayo Bamgbose, who resided in Texas, USA, but is now deceased.”
Mohammed said that Bakare spent his loot on acquiring property, and retained the remaining sum in Sikiru’s account.
Following the defendants’guilty plea and the review of facts of the case by the prosecutor, the judge sentenced them to three years’ imprisonment each.
The judge also ordered that the convicts should forfeit N205 million and other property to the Federal Government.
“The property to be forfeited are Mercedes Benz E500,Toyota Hilux 2020 model, five-bedroom duplex on Ibrahim Beto Street, Osapa London, Lekki, Lagos State, and a four-bedroom semi-detached duplex at Ologolo Jakande, Lekki.
“To be also forfeited is a four-bedroom semi-detached duplex on the Southern View Estate, Mayor Court, Chevron Alternative Road, Lekki, Lagos,” the judge held.
KanyiDaily had also reported how a jailed Nigerian fraudster was exposed for coordinating a scam worth over $100 million while still in prison.