CRIME – Five internet fraudsters have been handed a 6 months jail sentence, after being arraigned before Justice A.S. Amobeda of a Federal High Court, sitting in Calabar, Cross River State.
The suspects identified as Michael Edward, Ahunwan Endurance, Ahunwan Frank, Patrick Edos and Esi Harrison, were convicted on charges bordering on impersonation and cybercrime. They were reportedly arrested after a raid at their hideout on June 20, 2019, by operatives of the EFCC Uyo Zonal Office who acted on an intelligence report.
The statement by the EFCC reads in parts;
After the conclusion of investigations, they were charged to court on separate charges for their various involvements in defrauding their victims who were mainly foreigners, using false identities.
Edward disguised as “Mark James” on the internet, while Endurance used a false identity as “Jacob Sandars”. Frank used the pseudo-name “Williams Robert”, Edos posed as “Mack Williams”. Harrison, a 19-year-old Secondary School Student, SS3, disguised as “Dr. Richard Mark”.
They all pleaded “guilty” to the one-count charge, each filed against them. Following their guilty plea, counsel for the EFCC, J.O. Aboderin, informed the court of the plea bargain agreement between the prosecution and the defence, and prayed the court to convict and sentence them accordingly.
Subsequently, Edward, Endurance, Frank, and Edos were each convicted on the one-count charge against them, and were sentenced to six months in prison each with an option of fine of N50,000.
Harrison, who expressed remorse for his action said he was forced to the act in order to raise money to pay for his WAEC fees, because his parents could not afford it. He was also convicted on the one-count charge preferred against him, and sentenced to one month in prison with an option of fine of N5,000.