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Fraudster conned eye surgeon out of £352k

By James Colasanti

A NIGERIAN fraudster who conned £352,000 out of a leading eye surgeon in an internet scam has been ordered to repay her £53,400.

Chinaenye Mokelu, 44, of Argent Street, Grays, sent out spam e-mail asking UK bank account holders to help him transfer his “$300million fortune” to Britain.

Consultant Fawzia Ashkanani replied and was duped into transferring £352,000 into Mokelu’s bank accounts in return for a slice of his fortune.

Mrs Ashkanani, of Dumfries, in Scotland, even met up with Mokelu in London where he showed her a suitcase full of fake cash.

Mokelu was jailed for five years in June after admitting conspiracy to defraud.

He appeared at Basildon Crown Court and was ordered to repay Mrs Ashkanani £53,400, the total value of his assets recovered by police, which included £20,000 cash.

Andrew Fraser, prosecuting, said police were aware Mokelu had transferred an additional £94,000 to a bank account in Nigeria last year.

Mr Fraser said: “The Crown say there has been very little by Mr Mokelu to help police in recovering this money.”

Karl Volz, mitigating, said: “This money was sent to Nigeria over a year ago to an account which was not in Mr Mokelu’s name.

“The suggestion this money is now available to him, while he is in custody, is absolutely absurd.”

Recorder Humfrey Malins agreed any notion of recovering the cash was “fanciful”.

He said it was clear Mokelu was not the “Mr Big” in the scam and the resources needed to track down the cash would be too expensive to the taxpayer.

He said: “In the real world it is goodbye to that money.

“I suspect even if Mr Mokelu knew where that money was, the chances of him laying his hands on it is minimal.

“By now there is a good chance it is winging its way to the Cayman Islands, or somewhere like that.”

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February 17, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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