- A convicted fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke, is under investigation by the EFCC
- Aroke was said to have masterminded a fraud of $1 million from the Kirikiri prison
- The convict is already serving a 24-year jail term
There seems to be a new twist to how fraud is being perpetrated in Nigeria as a convicted internet fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke, who is serving a 24-year jail term at the Kirikiri maximum prison in Lagos, has been accused of masterminding a fresh mega scam to the tune of over $1million.
Premium Times reports that Aroke is now being investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Legit.ng gathered that Aroke allegedly pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, who are targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.
It was learnt that the lid was blown off his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the maximum correctional centre following intelligence received by the EFCC.
According to the report, the immediate riddle that confronted the anti-graft agency was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of internet fraud from prison.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to internet and mobile phone in the correctional centre, where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.
It was also gathered that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria police hospital, Falomo, Lagos for an undisclosed ailment, adding that from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.
The EFCC is said to be investigating the circumstance of Aroke's admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements.
According to the online news medium, the investigation revealed that Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with two new generation banks.
He was also said to have bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki Lagos in 2018 for N22 million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Aroke.
The convict was also in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.
Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four-bedroom duplex at plot 12, Deji Fadoju street, Megamounds estate Lekki County Homes, Lekki, for N48 million.
It would be recalled that Aroke was one of two Malaysia-based Nigerian undergraduate fraudsters arrested by the EFCC in 2012 at the 1004 Housing estate, Victoria Island, Lagos following a tip-off.
He had claimed to be a student of Computer Science at the Kuala Lumpur Metropolitan University, Malaysia. But the commission’s investigation fingered him as the arrowhead of an intricate web of internet fraud scheme that traverses two continents.
After his arrest, a search conducted by EFCC operatives on his apartment led to the recovery of several items such as laptops, iPad, travelling documents, cheque books, flash drives, internet modem, and three exotic cars – a Mercedes Benz jeep, one 4Matic Mercedes Benz car and a Range Rover Sport SUV.
He was eventually convicted by Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos state high court on two counts of obtaining money by false pretence, cheque cloning, wire transfer and forgery. He was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment on each of the two counts.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the minister of interior, Rauf Aregbesola, on Thursday, October 31, said that the culprits in the investigative report by a journalist, Fisayo Soyombo, would not go scot-free.
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