Magu Sends Red Alert to Fake Contractors in North-East
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has warned fake contractors in Borno and Yobe to desist from engaging in illicit financial activities or be ready to face the wrath of the law.
Magu lamented the sharp practices by those he described as “unscrupulous elements”, who go about with contract documents purportedly from some Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs, seeking assistance from unsuspecting members of the public for the supply of foodstuffs, construction materials and investment in the procurements of relief items.
Speaking at a Press Briefing on November 29, 2018 at the Maiduguri office of the Commission, Magu also urged members of the public to be wary of the activities of the fraudsters who are taking advantage of the current situation in those states.
Magu, who spoke through Aminu Ado Aliyu, Head of Operations, EFCC Maiduguri Office, added that the Commission was investigating an alleged case of fraud involving three fake contractors who presented themselves as staff of a certain NGO to unsuspecting members of the public, requesting the supply of foodstuffs and some other items worth N15 million.
He said: “Upon receipt of the said items, they disappeared into the thin air. Further inquiries by the victim revealed that the suspects had paraded fake documents.
“In a related development, a suspected fraudster presented a fake Purchase Order, PO, from an NGO to an individual, requesting the sum of N40 million with an interest of N10 million.
“They signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU. But two days after, the suspect came back to the complainant’s Secretary and collected another sum of N15 million, giving the impression that he needed the money to complete his work. He temporarily disappeared. But when the complainant mounted pressure on him, he issued two cheques, which were returned unpaid when they were presented.”
He, therefore, advised members of the public to always verify any contract documents presented to them by anyone who claims to be from an NGO before they released funds or goods and make any investments in them.
“As a matter of urgency, owners of businesses, NGOs, consultants and consulting firms, construction companies, hotels, car dealers, amongst others, are to register with SCUML atwww.scuml.org for Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance and easy verification,” he said.
He further added that the EFCC will not spare anyone who is found to have committed any act of economic and financial crime.
He specifically mentioned a case involving the duo of Oluwasegun Adesina John and his cohort, who run the Millennium Multi-Trade Limited (MMLT), with offices in Maiduguri, Damaturu and Potiskum.
He said the Commission received a petition from 38 individuals who allegedly invested over N10 million between October and early November 2018, as well as another individual who invested N4 million, with an assurance of getting 25 per cent within seven days.
“But the operators of the outfit disappeared upon receipt of the money,” he said.
He added that the Zone has secured four convictions, including that of a senior lawyer, Ahmad Mai-aji, who was sentenced to seven year imprisonment and has also recovered about N24 million.
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