A report has disclosed that the Accomplice to Mompha ‘kept 51 bank accounts’ and N60m wristwatches seized from him.
A LEBANESE identified as Hamza Koudeih and two other suspected to an accomplices to social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha (a.k.a. Mompha), have been arrested in Lagos.
Report disclosed that Koudeih was apprehended at the weekend after a three-hour stand-off at his N1.8 billion luxury apartment in the 33-storey Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Mompha, Koudeih and the others are suspected to be kingpins of a network of cyber criminals who laundered N33 billion through three firms.
The couple also failed to respond to the appeals from the building’s chief security officer.
But the operatives, who had been spying the premises for some times, knew that the Lebanese was inside. His cars were parked in the garage downstairs.
The apartment was protected with triple reinforced fire-proof door and closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras which prevent them to gain access to the entrance.
The investigation revealed that EFCC battled for over three hours to break down the door using breaching tools.
When they finally gained access, to the house, they met his wife who claimed Koudeih had escaped through the window.
But Koudeih’s apartment is on one of the topmost floors of Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, said to be the tallest apartment building in Nigeria.
“Our officials knew that he was still inside and they were even hoping to persuade him not to jump out through the window because it would be suicide,” EFCC Lagos Zonal Head, Mr. Mohammed Rabo, who confirmed the arrest, told The Nation.
But they did not find Koudeih in any of the rooms until they observed that a part of the ceiling in his bedroom had been artificially sealed.
They pushed it open and found Koudeih hiding in the ceiling.
Further search of his bedroom revealed a fire-proof safe containing different charms and talismans in calabashes.
According to the EFCC, the Lebanese admitted they were his “prayer objects”. Two luxury cars were also recovered from him.
Rabo said the commission was investigating Koudeih and his wife’s immigration status and the result was being expected.
He said it had been confirmed that they had Lebanese ancestry but it was not known if they had any other nationality.
The nationality of the two other suspects, he explained, was not yet known.
Rabo stated that local and international law enforcement agencies had indicated interest to collaborate in the investigation.
He said the operation that led to Koudeih’s arrest was “an offshoot of the collaboration between the EFCC and the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),” but that Koudeih was arrested based on “purely EFCC intelligence”.
Rabo added: “Actionable intelligence received from local and international law enforcement agencies had revealed that Koudeih and Mompha alongside their collaborators are high valued targets in Organised Cyber Syndicate Network (OCSN).
“Investigations have also revealed that Mompha uses a firm known as Ismalob Global Investments Limited to perpetrate about N14 billion money laundering while Koudeih also operate two firms namely: THK Services Limited and CHK properties Limited to launder about N19 billion.”
It was also learnt that the EFCC discovered 51 Nigerian bank accounts opened by Mompha for money laundering.
The commission also revealed that the five wristwatches recovered from Mompha at his arrest on Tuesday are worth over N60 million, rather than the N20 million earlier thought.
According to the EFCC, Mompha, “a premium and first-class customer of one of the popular international airlines, was arrested on Friday 18, October 2019 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on his way to Dubai Emirate following [a] series of intelligence reports received by the Commission.”