Two international fraudsters who obtained a cumulative sum of over $1,000,000,000 (One Million Dollars) from three foreign airlines, KLM, Turkish Airline and British Airways, have been sentenced to six years prison terms cumulatively.
The duo, Tobiloba Ibrahim Bakare, the first defendant and Alimi Seun Sikiru, the second defendant, appeared before Justice O.A. Taiwo of the Lagos State High Court, Ikeja, Lagos.
They were charged for involving themselves in various fraudulent Business Email Compromise, BEC, between 2009 and 2020 and also hacking into the accounts of KLM, Turkish Airlines and British Airways.
One of the five-count amended charges reads; “Tobilola Ibrahim Bakare and Alimi Seun Sikiru, sometime in 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, conspired to commit felony to wit: retaining cumulative sum of about $1,000.000,00 (One Million United States of America Dollars) property of KLM, Turkish Airways and British Airways.”
Another of the charges reads: “Tobiloba Ibrahim Bakare and Alimi Seun Sikiru, sometime in 2020 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with a dishonest intent, retained four -bedroom detached duplex situated at Ologolo Jakande, Lekki, Lagos.”
The convicts’ journey to prison began in September 2020, when Operatives of the Economic And Finacial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the course of investigating a case of suspicious transactions and money laundering involving one Kehinde Adelakun, a convicted internet fraudster, stumbled on evidence linking Alvine International Resources Ventures, owned by the Friend of Bakare, second defendant, Sikiru.
Further investigation revealed several inflows suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities in both the First Bank and Sterling Bank accounts of the second defendant.
The second defendant, in his statement to the Commission, admitted that the majority of the funds found in his account were from the first defendant, Bakare, who confessed prospecting in Business Email Compromise, BEC, between 2009 and 2020 and also hacking into the accounts of KLM, Turkish Airlines and British Airways
They pleaded ‘guilty’ to the charges preferred against them.
Following their pleas, the prosecution counsel, I.A. Mohammed, informed the court that the defendants, through their counsel, Hycenth Udu, had entered a plea bargain with the prosecution and also reviewed the facts of the case.
Delivering her judgment, Justice Taiwo convicted and sentenced the first defendant, Bakare, to three years imprisonment with the option of a fine of N3m (Three Million Naira).
The Judge also convicted and sentenced the second defendant, Sikiru, to three years imprisonment with an option of fine of N1 million (One Million Naira).
Justice Taiwo also held that the five-bedroom duplex situated at Ibrahim Eleto Street, Osopa London, Lekki, Lagos, four bedroom semi-detached duplex situated at Ologolo, Jakande, Lekki, Lagos, and another four bedroom semi-detached duplex in Southern View Estate, Mayor Court, Chevron Alternative Road, Lekki, Lagos to be recovered from the first defendant and be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The Judge also held that the sums of N196,741,216.82 recovered from the second defendant’s company, Alvine International Resources Ventures account domiciled in Sterling Bank and the sum of N9,300, 000.00 recovered from the second defendant’s account domiciled in Polaris Bank be forfeited to the Federal Government
Two vehicles, a Mercedes Benz E500 and a Toyota Hilux 2020 recovered from the first defendant were also ordered forfeited to the Federal GovernmentShare