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Nigerian Undergraduate,24, bags 26 years jail term for Internet fraud


This was an ,item in one of the newspapers in Nigeria this last weekend.

I am sharing it because I feel it could be of interest to you.



Undergraduate bags 26 years jail term for Internet fraud

Published: Sunday, 18 Feb 2007

A 24 -year-old Internet fraudster, Mr. Silas Stephen Uwem, has been sentenced to 26 years imprisonment.

Justice Tijani Abubakar of the Federal High Court in Lagos, convicted Uwem for operating a bank account with the Access Bank Plc that suggested money laundering of illegal funds.

The judge also ordered that the N16m, found in the bank account of the convict, should be forfeited to the Federal Government.

A certified true copy of the judgment was exclusively made available to our correspondent in Lagos on Friday.

The convict was given two years on each of the 13-count charge that was preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

His sentence would, therefore run concurrently from the date of his arrest while the convict would actually serve two years behind bars.

Uwem, an undergraduate of the Lagos State University, Ojo, was said to have a total lodgment of N16m in Access Bank, which he reportedly admitted was obtained through Internet fraud.

The convict also allegedly stated that he belonged to a syndicate of Internet fraudsters that specialised in duping people through Western Union Money Transfer.

Uwem further claimed that he received several sums of money by internet fraud and that part of the N16m at Access Bank was got through chatting on the Internet with foreign nationals.

His alleged earlier claim that his father also gave him part of the said N16m was refuted by his father, who told the EFCC that he only gave his son N250,000.

Convicting Uwem, Justice Abubakar held that the accused was guilty as charged. He said that his transferring and lodgment of various sum of money into his Access Bank‘s account no 0081510014704 with the aim of disguising the origin of the money was an offence that was contrary to Section 14 (1) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2001.

The judge added that he took into consideration, the convict‘s age and his status as an undergraduate during the allocutus (plea for leniency) before sentencing him.

Justice Abubakar stated, “I order that the amount (N16m) currently held in the convict‘s account No. 0081510014704 at the Access Bank Plc be forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“The convict is also warned to be a better person after serving his prison term.”

The convict was arrested on May 4, 2006 at the bank‘s premises when he went to the bank to bail his friend, Aifuwa Umweni, who had earlier been arrested by the bank officials for attempting to fraudulently withdraw money from the convict‘s bank account.

When interrogated by the bank officials, Umweni allegedly confessed that he lived in the same house with the convict.

But the convict later confessed that he did not authorise Uwem to withdraw from his account.

Uwem, who is also a teenager , was also discovered to allegedly have N5m in his bank account with Access Bank and that he was also an internet fraudster.

The bank later transferred the convict to the EFCC for further interrogation.

The anti-graft body consequently brought Uwem to court on October 12, 2006 and he pleaded not guilty to the 13-count charge.

The accused later filed a bail application and the court granted him temporary freedom on January, 31, 2007.

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February 27, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. hi my name is tomah

    Comment by tomahlassana | March 21, 2008 | Reply

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