Benin court confines 2 internet fraudsters to 8years in prison

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Nnamdi Theo-Joseph Duru and Israel Oluwaseun Ayoomoni were convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison for internet-related fraud by Justice M. Itsueli of the Edo State High Court in Benin City.

Duru and Ayoomoni were convicted after pleading guilty to a one-count separate charge of retention of proceeds of criminal conduct and possession of documents containing false pretenses at their arraignment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s Benin Zonal Command.

The lone-count charge against Duru reads: “that you Nnamdi Theo-Joseph Duru sometimes between 1st January, 2017 to November, 2021 in Edo State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did retain the aggregate sum of ₦8,000,432,22 in your Access Bank Account Number:0090793423 knowing that same represent proceeds of your criminal conduct to wit’ Cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (Establishment) Act 2004 and punishable under Section ßdź17(b) of the same Act.”

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When the charge was read to them, the defendants pleaded guilty.

Sentence

According to their pleas, prosecutor K.Y. Bello requested that the court convict and sentence them accordingly.

However, the defendants’ attorneys, Pascal Ugbome and Osaro Uyi, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy because the defendants had expressed regret for their actions.

Judgement

Duru was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison, with the option of a fine of ₦500,000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira), while Ayoomoni received three years in prison or a fine of ₦200,000 (Two Hundred Thousand Naira).

Forfeit

The judge also ordered Duru to forfeit $34,000 Tthirty-Four Thousand United States Dollars) recovered from him during the investigation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation as restitution to the victim.

While Ayoomoni was ordered to forfeit the sum of ₦23,742.36 (Twenty Three Thousand, Seven Hundred and Forty Two Naira, Thirty Six kobo) in his Guaranty Bank account.

As well as the sum of ₦20,022.10 (Twenty Thousand, Twenty Two Naira, Ten Kobo) in his Polaris Bank account and the sum of 25 USD (Twenty Five United States Dollars) which were recovered from him as proceeds of crime to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

He also surrendered his phone to the government, and his bank accounts were closed.

The convicts’ journey to the Correctional Centre began when they were arrested for internet-related offenses by EFCC operatives from the Benin Zonal Command.

They were charged and convicted in court.

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