Bureau de Change operator bags 5yrs for N22m fraud
by BENJAMIN OMOIKE
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Monday, February 28, secured the conviction of one Abdullahi Tajuddeen, a Bureau de Change operator, before Justice Lawan Wada of the Kano State High Court on a one-count charge bordering on criminal breach of trust.
The convict was arraigned by the Commission sometime in November 2015 on five counts of criminal breach of trust and forgery.
The defendant was, sometime in September 2011 instructed by the petitioner to transfer the sum of $140,200 (equivalent to N22,109,540.00) to one of his customers, Huzhou Fuxing, who owns a weaving and dying company in China.
The defendant claimed that the money was transferred to Fuxing through one of the new generation banks on September 20, 2015. However, the telegraphic instrument presented as proof of the transfer, was found to be forged.
Read Also: NPA to partner Lagos state on security
Count one of the charge reads: “That Abdullahi Tajudeen on or about 13th September, 2011 at Kano within the jurisdiction of the High Court of Kano while being entrusted with certain property to wit: the sum of Twenty Two Million One Hundred and Nine Thousand Five Hundred and Forty Naira Only ( N22,109,540.00) by Khalil Riad Fadiallah for onward transfer of its United States Dollars equivalent of One Hundred and Forty Thousand Two Hundred Dollars ($140,200.00) to Huzhou Fuxing Weaving and Dying Company Limited, China, dishonestly converted the said money to your personal use in violation of the trust and instruction and you thereby committed a criminal breach of trust punishable under Section 312 of the Penal Code.”
Upon arraignment, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Consequently, the matter proceeded to trial during which the prosecution counsel, Douglas I. Gift, called four witnesses and tendered over 20 exhibits to prove the case against the defendant.
In his judgment on Monday, Justice Wada found the defendant guilty on count one for criminal breach of trust and convicted him accordingly.
Counsel representing the defendant, U.U Eteng, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy in sentencing his client.
Justice Wada, therefore, sentenced the defendant to five years imprisonment on count one of criminal breach of trust but discharged and acquitted him on counts two, three, four and five.
The court also ordered that the convict restitute N22,109,540.00 to the complainant.