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Alleged N6bn money laundering: EFCC investigator testifies against Mompha

An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Idi Musa, on Monday testified against a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha, charged with six billion Naira money laundering.

Mustapha, still at large, is standing trial alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd., on eight counts bordering on money laundering.

Musa, the sixth prosecution witness, while being led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Mr Suleiman Suleiman, told the court how he came across Mompha and his company during the investigation.

He said the commission received an intelligence information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that Mompha and his company led a cybercrime in the United States of America.

“Sometimes in 2019, we received intelligence information from the FBI, U.S.A which was addressed to the commission informing us that first and second defendants were leading a cybercrime in U.S. A known as yahoo yahoo.

“The intelligence information indicated that the first and second defendants belong to a syndicate operating between Nigeria and across border, defrauding some internet users.

“In the course of investigation, some letters were written to Zenith Bank requesting for account statement of the second defendant and also to the other bank linked to the first defendant, which include Fidelity Bank, and the account statement received was analysed.

“During the analysis, we discovered N30 billion inflow through the account of the first defendant in Fidelity Bank and about N5 billion in Zenith Bank account,” he said.

The witness further said letters were written to the FBI and the Special Fraud Unit of EFCC regarding the defendant claiming he was into Bureau De Change (BDC).

He added that letter was written to the Central Bank of Nigeria and other relevant agencies.

The witness said that investigation revealed that the first defendant did not reside in Nigeria and efforts to get across to him proved abortive.

“A letter was written to the Nigeria Immigration Services on Oct.16, 2019, to arrest the defendant anytime he arrives Nigeria.

“On Oct.18, 2019, the first defendant got the information that the commission was looking for him, while he was in Nigeria, he quickly got to airport, boarded a flight in other to escape arrest.

“The team got the information through the immigration at the airport but Mompha had already boarded the flight.

“He was arrested along with his properties and handed over to the EFCC,” he said.

Musa told the court that over N30 billion was discovered in Mompha’s Fidelity Bank account and that he was into the bureau de change business, a representation he knew to be false.

He added that the commission concluded investigation on offences bordering on money laundering, operating BDC without a licence, in which Mompha was still standing trial before Justice Emma of Federal High Court, Ikoyi.

“The combination of the FBI and an investigative report on Mompha’s iPhone, revealed that Mompha’s iPhone was used to send account details to a United Arab Emirates telephone number he used to search for swift codes of a bank.

“During the course of his arrest, all the properties recovered were registered with exhibits keeper in the EFCC office and most of the properties were released to him on bond, except his I-phone 8 that was still with the commission.

“All the items are proceeds of crime because when he was given assets declaration form to declared his assets, he did not include those items,” the witness said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the prosecution tendered two documents, the statement of first defendant and asset declaration which was admitted into evidence and labeled exhibit p5 and p6.

Justice Mojisola Dada, however, adjourned the case until Oct. 8 for continuation of trial.

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