Hamza Koudeih, a well-known internet fraudster, was sentenced to one year in prison by the Federal High Court’s Ikoyi Division for multi-million dollar fraud.
In a statement released on Sunday, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said Mr Koudeih colluded with an accomplice, Kayode Phillip, to launder $7,069,000, £1,000,000, and €80,000 in May 2019.
Mr Koudeih, a Lebanese, and Mr Philip were said to be friends with Ismailia Mustapha, also known as Mompha, a famous Instagram star and Bureau Dr Change operator.
The EFCC charged them with a 25-count conspiracy and money laundering allegation in November of this year. However, the accusations were changed after Mr Koudeih, the second defendant, agreed to a plea deal with the anti-graft agency.
Following his plea agreement, the presiding judge, Tijani Ringim, found the defendant guilty of the offense and sentenced him to one year in prison. The judge, on the other hand, offered the convict the option of paying a fine of N1 million.
He ordered Mr Koudeih to surrender to the federal government N100 million hidden in a Zenith Bank Plc bank draft, a Mercedes Benz GLE43, two iPhones, and an HP Desktop computer.
Mr Koudeih “entered a bond with the EFCC to be of good behavior and never to be involved in any form of economic and financial crimes both within and outside the country,” the prosecution counsel told the court.
The defendants were Mompha’s accomplices, according to the anti-graft agency, who were identified as one of the high-value targets in an organized cyber syndicate network.
The EFCC, which is in charge of executing rules against money laundering and other financial crimes, has long pursued socialites who flaunt exotic automobiles and live opulent lifestyles.
Mompha was arrested by the commission in October 2019 for cyber fraud and money laundering.
This was in response to “a series of intelligence reports received by the commission,” according to the anti-corruption body at the time.
Later, he was released on bail.
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