EFCC Arraigns Suspected ATM Fraudster in Port Harcourt

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Port Harcourt’s Zonal office on Tuesday, October 8, 2019 arraigned Diamond Brown before Justice E.A. Obile of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on one count charge bordering on retention of proceeds of crime contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering and (Prohibition) Act 2011, as amended, and punishable under the same Act.

The charge read:”That you, Diamond Brown, on or about the 14th day of June, 2016, at Port Harcourt within the Judicial Division of the Federal High Court, directly retained the sum of Four Hundred Thousand (N400,000.00) Naira only in your Fidelity bank account number 6238228734 on behalf of Abrah Oghenerueme Marcus, which sum you knew or reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of a crime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering and (Prohibition) Act 2011, as amended, and punishable under the same Act.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the one -count charge preferred against him by the EFCC.

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In view of his plea, prosecuting counsel, J. N Dogonyaro prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial. However, the defendant’s counsel was not in court and no bail application was brought before the court.

Justice Obile ordered that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending the bail application.

The matter was adjourned to October 29, 2019 for hearing of bail application.

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Brown got into trouble owing to a petition written to the EFCC alleging his involvement in Automated Teller Machine, ATM fraud and retention of proceeds of crime.

The petitioner alleged his ATM card got trapped in a First Bank branch in Port Harcourt and in a couple of hours, he received a number of debit alerts to the tune of One Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty Six Thousand Four Hundred and Seventy Naira (N1,826,470.00) on his mobile phone, an indication that someone used the same ATM card that was trapped in the machine earlier to make the withdrawals.

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Investigations showed that the petitioner compromised his pin/code to the defendant and his accomplices while he requested them to assist him make some transactions. They also allegedly swapped his ATM card with that of one Abrah Ogheneruemu Marcus.

Investigation further revealed that the petitioner’s brother was the mastermind of the fraudulent deals. He allegedly swapped his ATM card with the petitioner’s card and used it to transfer various sums of money to different persons, including the fraudulent transfer of Four Hundred Thousand Naira (N400,000.00) to the defendant’s account.

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