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Business

Obinwanne Okeke sentenced to 10 years in prison for $11 million fraud

Obinwanne ‘Invictus Obi’ Okeke has been sentenced to a 10-year jail term for fraud.

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Obinwanne Okeke says he didn’t commit fraud on American soil

Invictus Obinwanne Okeke, founder of Invictus Group has been sentenced to a 10-year jail term for computer and wire fraud by an American court.

Okeke was sentenced in the United States on Tuesday for his involvement in a computer and wire fraud scheme that caused approximately $11 million in known losses to his victims between 2015 and 2019.

Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia said “Through subterfuge and impersonation,  Okeke engaged in a multi-year global business email and computer hacking scheme that caused a staggering $11 million in losses to his victims.

“Today’s sentence further demonstrates EDVA’s and FBI’s worldwide reach in vigorously pursuing justice on behalf of American victims and others and holding international cybercriminals accountable, no matter where they commit their crimes.”

READ: Court asks EFCC to arrest ExxonMobil Nigeria MD over alleged fraud

As part of the scheme, Okeke and other conspirators engaged in an email compromise scheme targeting Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment.

In April 2018, a Unatrac executive fell prey to a phishing email that allowed conspirators to capture login credentials.

The conspirators sent fraudulent wire transfer requests and attached fake invoices. Invictus Obi participated in the effort to victimize Unatrac through fraudulent wire transfers totaling nearly $11 million, which was transferred overseas.

Additionally, he also engaged in other forms of cyber fraud, including sending phishing emails to capture email credentials, creating fraudulent web pages, and causing other losses to numerous victims.

READ: Court jails Ex-Finbank MD and 3 others over N10.9 billion fraud

What you should know

  • Okeke, who made it into Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 List in 2016 was arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over $11 million wire fraud in 2019.
  • Following his arrest, a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the permanent forfeiture of Okeke’s N280,555,010 to the Federal Government.
  • Okeke, through his defense lawyers, argued that he should never have been arrested and charged to court in the US because there is no evidence that he defrauded American citizens or companies.
  • In recent times, the FBI has made a number of arrests of foreign nationals including Nigerians who were complicit in Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes, which led to the loss of over $6 million.
  • The Nigerians are also accused of working with money launderers, romance scammers, and others involved in BEC schemes “through a complex web of witting and unwitting people in the United States and abroad.”

Janet John is a graduate of Chemical Engineering from the University of Uyo. She specializes in technical writing where she creates easy to read documentation, articles to clearly and efficiently explain highly complex processes. When she is not writing, she works as a freelance front-end developer

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Business

Apapa gridlock: NPA MD says e-Call up will eliminate human intervention and extortion

The MD of the NPA has stated that the introduction of the e-call up system will eliminate extortion by enforcement and security officers.

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Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman, Maritime, Ports, Badagry deep seaport, NPA, LADOL collision intensifies, as they throw counter-accusation over contract 

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, has said that the introduction of the Electronic Call-up system will eliminate human intervention from the process thereby eliminating extortion by enforcement and security officers.

This is as she also revealed that shipping companies make billions of naira from importers forfeiting their deposits for returned containers due to congestion in and around the ports.

This was disclosed by Bala-Usman during an interview on Channels Television.

The NPA boss said that one of the solutions being introduced is to create holding bays outside the ports for empty containers, so that the containers will no longer be returned to the ports, but instead to these holding bays, with shipping companies taking responsibility.

READ: CBN to sanction exporters who default on export proceed number

What the NPA Managing Director is saying

Bala-Usman said, ‘’We have reached a point where we are going to have a strong Electronic Call up that will remove human intervention from the process. One of the key aspects of this E-Call up is the fact that we have approved truck parks where all trucks must sit in order to access the port location.

‘’Having identified this truck park through a public process, we have listed eight truck parks that have been so certified by Lagos State Government and Nigerian Ports Authority as approved truck parks that all trucks that have the intention of doing business in the port will sit and they will be called upon using an electronic call-up.’’

Going further she said, ‘’40-50% of trucks causing congestion are actually trying to return empty containers. Shipping companies make billions of naira from importers forfeiting deposits for returned containers, most deposits are forfeited because of congestion, a status quo that pleases shipping companies.

‘’One solution being introduced is to create holding bays outside the ports for empty containers. So consignees no longer need to return the containers to Ports, but instead to holding bays, where Shipping companies will take responsibility.’’

While acknowledging the fact that there will be glitches and teething issues in the deployment of the electronic call-up system, she, however, said we must start and address the issues as they arise.

READ: NPA expects 23 ships with petrol, food items, other commodities at Lagos Ports Complex

What you should know

  • As part of measures to resolve the gridlock around the ports axis, the NPA had launched an Electronic Truck call-up system, Eto, designed for the management of truck movement and access to and from the Lagos ports.
  • This is to also help complement the drive for a business-friendly and secure environment for port business in Nigeria.
  • During the implementation of the new system, all trucks doing business at the ports will be required to park at the approved truck parks until they are called up into the port through the Eto app.
  • The Lagos State Government through its newly constituted Traffic Management Enforcement Team to resolve Apapa gridlocks and the Nigerian Port Authority Security Team also identified parks as holding bay for trucks around the metropolis.

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NAHCO recalls suspended GMD

NAHCO recalled Adetokunbo Fagbemi, its Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer.

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NAHCO

The Board of Directors of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO Aviance) has recalled Mrs. Adetokunbo Fagbemi, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the aviation handling firm.

The GMD was suspended over Management’s failure to diligently secure the delivery of a purchased equipment from vendor within the contracted period and Management’s inability to provide satisfactory/acceptable reason for the unreasonable long delay.

This was disclosed by the Board via a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday.

It stated, “The Board is however pleased to inform the investing public and the Exchange that on, Tuesday, February 24, 2021, a satisfactory evidence of departure and arrival dates of the equipment has been received by the board from the equipment manufacturer.

“Consequently, the Board at its emergency meeting today, February 24, 2021, has recalled the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi from the suspension and she has resumed work.”

What you should know

  • The GMD was suspended by the Board at a meeting held on 27th of January 2021 in line with the Board’s earlier decision that if a certified bill of lading for the equipment was not received by 2nd February 2021, the GMD/CEO shall proceed on suspension with half pay until receipt of acceptable evidence of equipment shipment from the manufacturer.
  • Since Fagbemi commenced her suspension on February 3rd, 2021, Mr. Olumuyiwa A. Olumekun, the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, has been acting as the GMD/CEO.

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