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Internet Fraud: Court Sends 33-Year-Old Fashion Designer, Two Others To Prison In Benin

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Justice Efe Ikponmwonba of Edo State High Court sitting in Benin City on Tuesday, July 11, 2023, convicted and sentenced Iyamu Odeh Richie, a 33 year-old fashion designer, and two others to jail for internet fraud.

The two others are Ojo Destiny Osarobo and Honda Onoriode Meluin. The convicts’ journey to prison began following their arrest by operatives of the Benin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged involvement in internet fraud.

They were subsequently arraigned on separate one count charges bordering on unlawful possession of fraudulent documents and impersonation.

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The charge against Onoriode Meluin reads: “that you, Honda Onoriode Meluin on or about 23rd March, 2023 in Benin City, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did have in your possession on your iPhone 13 with IMEI number 35010884028511 documents which you knew or ought to have known contain a false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 6 read together with 8(b) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act ,2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.

The charge against Richie reads: “that you, Iyamu Odeh Richie (m) on or about the 30th day of May 2023 in Benin, Edo State within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did fraudulently impersonate the identity of Park SEO Jun, a Ukrainian citizen via internet and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 22(2)(b)(ii) of the Cybercrime ( Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under section 22(2)(b)(IV) of the same Act”.

Upon arraignment, the defendants pleaded guilty to their respective charges prompting the prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Faisal and A. Bala-Ribah to pray the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Justice Ikponmwonba convicted and sentenced each of the defendants to three years imprisonment with an option of Two Hundred Thousand Naira fine.

The judge ruled that a bank cheque of N328,000,00 belonging to Honda, the balance of money in Osarobo’s bank account and phones recovered from them, being proceeds of crime, be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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