Internet fraud academy proprietor bags 10 years jail term

The Proprietor of Uyo Cybercrime Training Centre, in Akwa Ibom State, Ikemesit Edet, popularly called Hustle Kingdom HK) has been sentenced to two years imprisonment having been found guilty on two-count charges bordering on impersonation, love scam, hacking/editing of social media accounts and private criminal tutoring

Penpushing reports that the convict was arraigned by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and pleaded guilty to the charges he committed sometime in January 2024

‘That you IKEMESIT EDET IK sometime in January, 2024 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court, being the occupier and a person concerned with the management of the premises situates and lying at No. 57 D-Line, Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo Akwa Ibom State, did knowingly permit the use of the entire aforesaid premises as a CYBERCRIME ACADEMY, also known as Hustle Kingdom (HK) where you recruited ten (10) young Nigerians between ages 16-25 and taught them cybercrime techniques for perpetrating cybercrimes to wit: hacking, impersonation, and obtaining money by false pretence (Advance Fee Fraud) and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 3 of the same Act’, count one reads.

‘That you IKEMESIT EDET IK between May 2020 and December 2023 in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this Honourable court did take possession total sum of Fifteen Million Naira Only (-N=15,000,000.00) which you knew forms proceed of an unlawful act to wit: Cybercrime and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(2)\d) of the Money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2022 and punishable under Section 18(3) of the same Act’, count two reads.

Penpushing further reports that Edet pleaded guilty to both charges preferred against him by the commission, prompting prosecution counsel, Joshua Abolarin to pray the court to convict and sentence him accordingly.

The statement by the Head, Media and Publicity of the commission Dele Oyewale added that the counsel equally prayed that the court ordered the forfeiture of all exhibits recovered from him at the point of arrest.

Penpushing also reports that Oyewale said, defence counsel Francis Ezike, however, prayed the court to be lenient in sentencing the defendant, and the Justice Ojukwu after listening to both counsels convicted Edet and sentenced him to five years jail term on each count, with an option of fine of N2,000,000 on each count.

The statement added that the court ordered that all recovered exhibits from the convict be forfeited to the Nigerian Government and these include: 13 laptops, a gold- coloured Toyota Corolla, a Lexus Jeep  RX 300 and about 3,080.25 square metres of land located at Ibiaku Obio Ndobo Village, Uruan Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

Penpushing reports that Edet’s journey to the Correctional Centre commenced on January 22, 2024, when investigators from the crime commission office in Uyo acted on intelligence and arrested 10 suspects at his Cybercrimes Training Centre at D-Line Ewet Housing Estate, Uyo.

The commission added in the statement that in a related development, the same court convicted and sentenced one Michael Melvin Onyekachi (alias ‘Raisa Pedroso’) for being in possession of fraudulent documents.

Penpushing further reports that the convict pleaded guilty to the one- count charge preferred against him, and was immediately convicted and sentenced to six months imprisonment with an option of fine of N50, 000.00.

‘That you Michael Melvin Oyedikachi sometime in Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court fraudulently presented yourself as Raise Pedroso on Facebook social media platform with intent to gain advantage for yourself and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22(2)(b)(I) of the Cyber-crimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 22(2) (b(iv) of the same Act’, the charge reads.

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