Five Bureau de Change operators have been convicted and jailed for allegedly defrauding another BDC operator, the Managing Director of Dashad Bureau de Change, Alhaji Tayo, of $1 million.

Public Relations Officer of Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), DSP Audu Lawal, in a statement said operatives of the unit arrested and arraigned the suspects, Umem Amita, Isa Hassan, Mfom Inuinam, Kafisco Oil and Gas Limited and M4 Connection Limited, following a petition from Alhaji Tayo, who in 2014, needed $1.5m for his clients.

Lawal in the statement said that sometimes in December 2014, Alhaji Tayo needed dollars for his clients and upon enquiries, the suspects claimed to have the required amount.

The suspects represented themselves as having enough dollars to sell to the victim, promising that the dollars would be made available if they receive the Naira equivalent of the money.

The victim subsequently paid about N800 million to the suspects for the equivalent of $1.5 million, but it turned out that the suspects did not have any dollar as claimed.

He said, “The suspects used the victims’ money to source for $500,000 dollars in black market which they paid to the victim and thereafter made away with the balance of 1 million dollar.”

“Upon their arrest, investigation and the establishment of the facts of the case, Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Emmanuel Jackson, charged the suspects for conspiracy and obtaining the money by false pretence before the Hon. Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos, in suit number FHC/L/331C/2015.

The trial lasted for over three years, and on Thursday, June 28, the suspects were all found guilty by the court and were subsequently sentenced as follows: Umem 10 years imprisonment without any option of fine while Hassan and Iniuam are to serve 7 years imprisonment each without option of fine.

Umem was also ordered by the court to pay $100,000 to the victim as restitution, while the two companies used to perpetrate the fraud were to be wound up by the Federal Government in accordance with Section 1(3) and 10(2) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2001.

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