Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday April 6, 2022, secured the conviction of three internet fraudsters, Ebuehi Gift, Joseph Etim Peters and Evans Osayuware Ovie on one count charge of intent to fraudulent impersonate and intent to defraud before Justice Efe Ikpomwonba of Edo State High Court , Benin City , Edo State.

The trio fraudulently represented themselves as foreign nationals in order to defraud unsuspecting victims.

The charge against Joseph Etim Peter (aka Mogarn Ben) reads: “That you, Joseph Etim Peter between January to December 2022 in Benin City , Edo State , within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the identity of one Bernard J, an American Soldier with intent to defraud unsuspecting ladies in China and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 484 of the Criminal Code Cap 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria ( as applicable in Edo State) 1976.

The charge against Ebuehi Gift reads: “”That you, Ebuehi Gift (M) sometime in January to September 2021 in Benin City within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the identity of one Racheal Morgan, an American lady with intent to defraud unsuspecting investors in Bitcoin business and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 484 of the criminal code cap 48 Laws of Bendel State of Nigeria (as applicable in Edo state).

Upon arraignment, all the defendants pleaded guilty to the charge.

In view of their plea, prosecuting counsel, Austin Ozigbu prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly but the defence counsel, Otasowie Chris asked the court to temper justice with mercy as the defendants have become remorseful for their actions.

Justice Ikpomwonba convicted and sentenced Gift to five years imprisonment or a fine of N500, 000. While Ovie and Peter bagged three years imprisonment or a fine of N300, 000 and N200, 000 respectively.

The judge also ordered the forfeiture of a Toyota Camry and a Mercedes Benz GLK vehicles recovered from Gift and Ovie to the Federal Government of Nigeria. They are also to forfeit their phones to the Federal Government of Nigeria and undertake in writing to be of good behaviour henceforth.

 


Media & Publicity
6 April, 2022