The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested two suspected fraudsters for allegedly stealing the sum of $2,250,000 (Two Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand United States Dollars) from two bankers.
The suspects: Uwem Antia and Alhaji Yerima Suleman allegedly approached the bankers: Gladys Aginwa and Ale Dennis in February, 2015, offering to sell foreign exchange to the tune of $10,000,000 USD to them.
After agreeing on the exchange rate, a sum of N672, 750,000 (Six Hundred and Seventy Two Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) was transferred from BlueBeam Capital Investment Limited and Capital Field Investment and Trust Limited into the account of one of the bankers: Smiles and Light Limited. It was from the banker’s account that the entire sum was moved into Antia’s account: Kafisto Oil and Gas Limited.
Findings showed that the entire sum of N672, 750,000 actually hit Antia’s account. A Bureau de Change operator who changed the money into its dollar equivalent, told EFCC’s investigators that he went with Antia to his bank along Bourdillon Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, where the transaction was confirmed. The Bureau de Change operator further said that, Antia subsequently transferred the sum of N666, 250,000(Six Hundred and Sixty- Six Million, Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira only) into his own account. He said he worked out the dollar equivalent of the money, which was $3,127,000 (Three Million, One Hundred and Twenty- Seven Thousand United States Dollar). He said he could only give $3,124,000(Three Million, One Hundred and Twenty-Four Thousand Dollar) to Antia, leaving a balance of $3,000(Three Thousand Dollar), which he promised to give him the next day.
Immediately Antia collected the foreign exchange, he reportedly headed for Number 17A, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos, where the two bankers and his accomplice, Suleman were waiting for him. However, rather than handing over the entire foreign exchange to the bankers, he only gave them $1,000,000(One Million Dollars), claiming that he could not source the entire amount.
He allegedly promised to give them a balance of $2,250,000 (Two Million, Two Hundred and Twenty- Five Thousand Dollar) the next day. This balance would be the dollar equivalent of the entire sum of the transaction (N672, 750,000). The bankers said that, since the day Antia and Suleman gave them the initial $1,000,000, all efforts to reach them had proved abortive. “Their cell phones were turned off”, they said. However, they lodged a complaint with the EFCC and operatives of the Commission eventually arrested the two fraudsters.
The fraudsters, upon their arrest, claimed that they had given one of the bankers, Dennis the balance of the money at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos, but investigations by the Commission, showed that no such transaction took place between them. One of the suspects, Suleman is reportedly standing trial at a Federal High Court sitting in Jos, Plateau State for a separate offence.
The suspects will be arraigned in court soon.
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