Man bags 7 years jail term over false kidnap claim, fraud

Posted by News Express | 2 March 2016 | 2,757 times

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Monday secured the conviction of one Mfon Obot Essien (alias David Morris, Femi James) at the Lagos State High Court, Igbosere. 

Justice R. A. Adebiyi convicted Essien on all the six counts preferred against him by EFCC and sentenced him accordingly.

The convict was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for attempting to defraud the family of one Shaliseon Warren by claiming that their daughter Shaliseon was kidnapped and the kidnappers were demanding a ransom of $7,000 USD.

The sentences are to run concurrently, starting from the day of his arrest. 

The convict’s journey to prison started when EFCC received a petition dated the 29th July, 2013 from the United States Department of Homeland Security, seeking its assistance to investigate a  transnational criminal organisation involved in drug smuggling, money laundering and fraud activities. It stated that a family, whose daughter travelled to Argentina, got a call from her boyfriend that they had both been kidnapped and a ransom of $7,000 was demanded by the kidnappers who wanted the money sent to their associates in Nigeria with the following details “David Morris, 302 Apapa Expressway, Ikeja Lagos.”

EFCC’s investigations revealed that there was no kidnap but the lady in question was actually arrested by Argentinean authorities for attempting to smuggle cocaine out of Argentina. She claimed that her boyfriend, a Nigerian, convinced her to do so. The Homeland Security agents had sought the assistance of Moneygram to issue a false funds credit which led to the arrest of the convict by the EFCC when he went to receive the money.

Essien was picked up on September 5, 2013 at the Ikota branch of Access Bank Plc after identifying himself as David Morris.

Upon his arrest incriminating documents were found in his possession, including a forged Driver’s Licence bearing the name James Femi but with his picture.

Further investigation revealed that on July 26, 2013, Essien received the sum of N237,537.68k from one Mark Mentor with another forged Driver’s Licence  bearing the name David Morris but with his picture having falsely represented himself to the said Mark Mentor as David Morris.

Upon his arraignment on December 17, 2013, the convict pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges but later changed his plea on November 24, 2015 to amended information.

•Photo shows the convict, Mfon Obot Essien alias David Morris and Femi James.

Source: News Express

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