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Alleged $26,000 fraud: Police apprehend, arraign Lanre Smith after 5 years



A businessman, Mr Lanre Smith, was on Tuesday, arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over an alleged 26,000 dollar fraud against a U.S. citizen.

Smith is being prosecuted by the Force Criminal Investigation Department of the Nigerian Police on a three-count charge of conspiracy, laundering of funds obtained through unlawful activity and fraud.

The Prosecutor, Mr Mike Enejere, told the court that the defendant committed the offence sometime in August 2016.

Enejere said that Smith conspired with others, now at large to conduct a financial transaction from the proceeds of an unlawful activity.

He said that the defendant deceived one Lindy Drake to deposit 26,000 dollars into a U.S. Well Fargo account with the name Wilok Ltd, and operated by someone named, Okwudli Okeke.

The prosecutor further alleged that the defendant’s action was with the intention to carry out an specified unlawful activity.

Enejere also said that Smith obtained about N10.1million from Okeke, under the pretext that he had deposited 26,000 dollars into his U.S. Well Fargo account.

He said that the offences contravened Sections 1(1)(a), 7 and 7(2)(b) of the Advanced Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The defence counsel, Mr A. A. Apara made an oral application for the bail of the defendant which was objected by the prosecutor.

Justice Ibrahim Kala, ordered defence counsel to file a written bail application before the court.

He then adjourned the case until Feb. 5 for hearing of the bail application and commencement of trial.

Our correspondent reports that the charge was initially filed in 2019 but later struck out because the police could not produce Smith.

Sandra Umeh

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