On Friday, June 23, 2023, the Calabar Division of the Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction of Scales Olatunji, a notorious international fraudster who was found guilty of internet fraud and money laundering charges by a Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Justice Agatha Okeke, on June 27, 2022, pronounced Olatunji guilty of forty-five counts of internet fraud and money laundering, as charged by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). He was subsequently sentenced to 235 years imprisonment without the possibility of a fine.
The prosecution of the convict stemmed from a petition submitted by the Oslo Police District in Norway, seeking the EFCC’s assistance in investigating a network of Nigerian citizens involved in defrauding Norwegian individuals.
Through investigations, it was revealed that the convict was a member of an internet fraud syndicate specializing in Business Email Compromise (BEC). Olatunji defrauded the Norwegian Government and its citizens, amassing a total of N525,172,580 (Five Hundred and Twenty-Five Million, One Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand, Five Hundred and Eighty Naira). He utilized the illicit proceeds to acquire luxurious properties in desirable locations within Lagos State.
These actions contravened Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and were punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
Unsatisfied with the initial judgment, Olatunji appealed to the appellate court, raising eleven grounds for appeal and requesting the court to overturn Justice Okeke’s decision.
During the appeal proceedings, the EFCC’s counsel, Nwandu Ukoha, argued against the appeal, urging the court to uphold the lower court’s judgment and dismiss the appeal based on the prosecution’s strong evidence.
On Friday, the three-man panel headed by Justice Muhammed Baba Idris upheld Olatunji’s conviction and rejected his appeal.
Source: EFCC Nigeria
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