Sunday, January 16, 2022

Money Laundering: Instagram celebrity Mompha remanded in EFCC custody

Mompha failed to furnish information concerning his interest in expensive watches such as a Rolex, Hublot, and two Piguet wristwatches.

• January 12, 2022
Mompha, exotic wristwatches
Composite of Mompha and exotic wristwatches used to illustrate the story

The Ikeja Special Offence Court has ordered suspected internet fraudster Ismailia Mustapha popularly known as Mompha, to be remanded in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for conspiring to launder N5.9 billion.

Mompha, rearrested on Monday, was arraigned alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, on a fresh eight-count fraud charge.

He currently faces trial at the Federal High Court Lagos on 22-count fraud charges against him by the EFCC.

The social media celebrity pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to launder funds obtained through unlawful activity, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity, and retention of proceeds of criminal conduct.

Other charges are using property derived from unlawful acts, possession of documents containing false pretence, and failure to disclose assets and properties.

The lead EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, requested a trial date following the arraignment. However, the defence counsel, Gboyega Oyewole, informed the court that he had filed a bail application that had been served on the prosecution.

Responding, Mr Oyedepo asked for time to respond to the bail application of the defence.

According to the EFCC, Mompha committed the alleged offence between 2016 and 2019 in Lagos.

The defendant is alleged to have conspired alongside Ahmadu Mohammed, now at large, to conduct N5.9 billion worth of financial transactions to commit the offence of obtaining by false pretence.

The prosecution alleges that the defendant also conducted other illegal transactions.

The EFCC alleged that Mompha, on February 11, 2019, transferred N15.9 million to Naptown Records and, on February 13, 2019, transferred N20 million to Wisegate Sleek System.

On February 3, 2020, the defendant allegedly had a document containing false pretence titled ‘Select Milk Producer J.P Morgan’, used to defraud Continental Dairy Facilities LLC.

The EFCC also alleged that on October 20, 2019, Mompha failed to furnish information concerning his interest in expensive watches such as a Rolex, a Hublot, two Piguet wristwatches, an iPhone 8 worth N70 million.

“This is required on page 10 of the Declaration of Assets Forms and is, therefore, an offence,” the prosecutor said.

The alleged offences violate sections 5(1) 6, 7 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and Sections 7, 18 and 27(3) of the EFCC Establishment Act 2004.

Justice Mojisola Dada adjourned the case until January 18 for a bail application hearing.

(NAN)

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