Convict allegedly pulls off $100 million scam from Kirikiri Correctional Centre
EFCC secures five convictions in Ilorin
Internet fraud convict, Hope Aroke, who is serving a 24-year jail term at the Kirikiri Maximum Maximum Correctional Centre in Lagos, is again the subject of investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for being the alleged mastermind of a mega scam to the tune of over $100 million.
EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, stateed yesterday in Abuja that Aroke pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of them targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.
According to Uwujaren, the lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Correctional centre was blown following intelligence received by the EFCC.
He added that the immediate riddle that confronted the EFCC was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of internet fraud from detention.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to internet and mobile phone in the correctional centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.
“Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.
“For a felon supposedly serving a jail term, investigation revealed that Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with First Bank and Guaranty Trust Bank. He also bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki, Lagos, in 2018 for N22 million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.
In a related vein, the EFCC, Ilorin zonal office, yesterday secured the convictions of five persons for their involvement in internet fraud and related offences.
All the defendants were convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment in their separate charges brought against them before Justice Sikiru Oyinloye and Justice Mahmood Abdulgafar of the Kwara State High Court sitting in Ilorin.
The convicts are Olamide Ijisesan, Ogundowole Tolulope, Abdullahi Abubakar, Chilaka Dickson and Olayiwola Azeez.
Only Tolulope was convicted by Justice Oyinloye, while others were convicted by Abdulgafar.
All the suspects pleaded guilty to the charges levelled against them by the anti-graft body.
Prosecuting counsel led by Mr. Blessing Akinsola told the court that the defendants had approached the commission for plea bargain and urged the judge to convict them according to the agreement.
All the defence counsel confirmed the position of the prosecution.
In arriving at the judgement, the court said the evidence of the prosecution was not challenged or controverted by the defendants.
The sentence is without an option of fine.
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