Justice M. Itsueli of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City has secured the conviction of six suspected internet fraudsters.
The convicts were arraigned separately on a one-count charge bordering on impersonation and possession of fraudulent documents by the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The suspects are Kelvin Eghosa Osadebawen, Akhere Jeffery, Akhabue Bright, Destiny Akhere, Erahon Emmanuel Imuentinyan and Ekhator Osamudiamen Favour.
All the defendants pleaded guilty to the crime upon arraignment; therefore, the prosecuting counsel requested their sentence to jail on Monday, August 28, 2023.
Speaking on their arrest, the Benin Zonal Command stated, “Their road to prison began following their arrest by operatives of the Commission based on actionable intelligence. During the investigation, Imuentinyan, 21, was discovered to have impersonated Gary Sinise, an American in order to defraud one Diane Quigley. On his part, 23 -year-old Bright represented himself as Chang Wang in an attempt to defraud unsuspecting victims. The others were found to be in possession of fraudulent documents.
The charge against Akhere reads: “that you, Destiny Akhere (m) on or about the 22nd May, 2023 within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did have in your possession on your iPhone 12 Pro Max with IMEI 359871977443432 documents which you knew or ought to have known contained false pretences and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 6 and 8 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act”.
Justice Itsueli convicted and sentenced Osadebawen, Bright, Akhere, Imuentinyan and Favour to one-month imprisonment with a fine of Two Hundred Thousand Naira as fine. Jeffrey was sentenced to three years imprisonment or a fine of N300,000.00.
Items recovered from the convicts were phones and funds, both of which were to be forfeited to the Federal Government’s account as a proceeds of crime.