The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, says alleged Internet fraudster and web based life VIP, Ismaila Mustapha known as Mompha; and his Lebanese accessory, Hamza Koudeih, laundered a consolidated N33bn.
Magu further explained that the two belonged to the international crime syndicate that did money laundering, particularly in Dubai.
The EFCC chair said this at a Press conference in Lagos on Thursday.
He stated, “The recent arrest of a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha; and his Lebanese collaborator, Hamza Koudeih, for their alleged involvement in internet-related fraud and money laundering, remains a landmark achievement of the EFCC.
“I make bold to tell you that these arrests have further confirmed our commitment to the anti-graft war, while also sending a red alert to potential internet fraudsters.
“I am sure you will be greatly shocked to know that five wristwatches valued at over N60m were recovered from the suspect.
“Investigation has also revealed that he operates 51 bank accounts in Nigeria, with which he acquired properties in Dubai; and had allegedly laundered about N14bn through a firm known as Ismalob Global Investments Limited.
“His accomplice, Koudeih, also has two firms namely, THK Services Limited and CHK properties Limited with which he has allegedly laundered about N19bn.”
He said Koudeih lived in a $5m per annum suite at the Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Magu said actionable intelligence received from local and global law enforcement agencies had uncovered that the suspects, alongside with their collaborators, were highly valued suspects in Organized Cyber Syndicate Network.
The EFCC chair stated that the Commission had started legal investigation of the telephones, reports and “unusual” things recuperated from the two suspects.
“They will be charged to court accordingly as soon as investigation is concluded,” he included.
Magu emphasized the way the commission, preceding the arrest of both Mompha and Koudeih,independently launched intensive investigative actions against the Internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Boys, culminating in various strategic raids on their hideouts.
He further expressed that the Commission had set out the raids they recently concluded collaborative operation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,tagged Operation Rewired — an international operation targeted at the Business Email Compromise, suspects over the world.
The EFCC SAID said from January to date, the Lagos office of the Commission had made more than 300 arrests, confirmed 207 convictions and recovered a good number number of toxic cars. Furthermore, several properties suspected to have been gained through the process of crime were sealed.
He, therefore, charged the media to join hands with the Commission in sharpening the public from the general population of evil internet fraud,economic and financial crimes
Magu said the EFCC would begin the auctioning of recovered items soon, and that it needs to guarantee the transparency in the auction process.