Court orders Final Forfeiture of Illicit Sum of N230. 6m, $80. 59 Kept In GTB to FG

The Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the final forfeiture of total N230.6 million and $80.59  belonging to a suspected Internet fraudster, Dehinbo  Oluwatobi Reuben, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Justice Saliu Saidu had on May 16, 2019 ordered an interim forfeiture of the sums following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The judge had also ordered the EFCC to publish the interim forfeiture order in any national newspaper for the respondent, Reuben, or anyone who was interested in the sums to show cause why the money should not be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Mr. Mohammed Idris, lawyer to the EFCC, while urging the court to finally order the forfeiture of the money in a suit numbered FHC/L/CS/647/ 2019, said order of the court has been fully complied with and that no one has show interest in the said sums.

Idris further told the court that the said illicit funds are warehoused in some accounts domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB).
He therefore urged the court to grant his agency’s request.

Upon hearing the EFCC’s motion on notice, supporting affidavit and written address, ordered the final forfeiture of the N210, 287, 697.45 million  N5,320,373.40, million, N15, 008,809.79 million and  $80.59 sums found by the anti-graft agency in the various accounts of the respondent domiciled in Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Reuben, an alleged fraudster who specialised in identity theft, wire fraud and mail fraud, was arrested following an intelligence report received by the commission.

Investigation revealed that Reuben and his members obtained the stolen Personal Identification Information of over 250,000 individuals in the US and used the details to file fraudulent federal and state tax returns.

It was further revealed that the syndicate obtained monetary value on the fraudulent tax returns, using prepaid cards registered with the stolen information and third-party bank accounts.

About Paul Sanusi, Lagos

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