N33b laundering: EFCC opposes Mompha’s plan to travel abroad to see family


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) Thursday filed an application to stop a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, from travelling abroad to see his family.

Mompha is on trial at a Federal High Court in Lagos on an alleged N33billion money laundering and cyber fraud charge.

He and his firm, Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, were on March 4, 2020 re-arraigned before Justice Mohammed Liman on 22 counts.

They were first arraigned on a 14-count count charge last November 25, following his arrest last October 19, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

According to the anti-graft agency, the defendant is based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Commission alleged that Mompha is a major figure in an organised transnational cyber fraud network, adding that he used Ismalob Investment to launder the funds, part of which he used in acquiring properties in Dubai.

RELATED NEWS:Court grants Mompha N100m bail

At the resumed sitting Thursday, Mompha’s counsel Gboyega Oyewole SAN concluded his cross examination of an EFCC investigator, Kaina Garba, before informing the judge of the application.

Garba and three Bureau De Change (BDC) Operators had on Wednesday testified against Mompha during examination-in-chief by EFCC counsel Rotimi Oyedepo.

Gboyega said: “My lord, we have filed an application for the first defendant to be allowed to travel abroad so he can check on his family.”

But the EFCC said it had filed a counter application which was still at the court’s registry.

The agency’s counsel prayed the court for another date by which time his application would be in the court’s file.

Justice Liman granted the prayer and adjourned till April 15 to hear both applications.

In the charge, the EFCC alleged that Mompha procured Ismalob Global Investment Ltd to retain N33.006, 026,806 billion between 2015 and 2018.

He was also alleged to have failed to inform the anti-graft agency in writing within seven days before making transferring huge sums of money to several people, including Ikechukwu Kingsley; Ojei Osemeke; one Onuskin; Okafor Ikenna; Ik Tony Global Communication; Ogbu C &C Ventures.

He was also said to have engaged in foreign exchange transaction without complying with the requirement of informing the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trades and Investment.

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In another instance, Mompha was accused of procuring one Ahmed Sarki (now deceased) to make cash payment of 765, 657, 00 Euro in a commercial bank, to a company, Pitacalize Ltd.

The offences, the anti-graft agency said, contravened sections 18(c),15(2)(d), 10, 5, 29(1)(c), 18(c) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 and punishable under sections 15(3), 16(1)(f) and Sections 29(2), 16(2) of the same Act.

The offences were also said to have contravened Section 39(2)(a) of the EFCC Act, 2004

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