BusinessCrime/DefenseLegal/Judiciary

Bizman docked over alleged $233.8m fraud on Zenith Bank

By Francis IWUCHUKWU

An alleged fraud suspect, Okafor Stanley, who attempted to defraud Zenith Bank Plc of a sum to the tune of $232.8 million was on Friday (today) arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court, Lagos State, alongside his company, Labrador Shipping Services Limited.

Stanley was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on a 12 count charge of obtaining by false pretence, forgery, fraud, falsification of documents and having documents containing false information.

In arraigning the suspect, lawyer to the EFCC, Idris Muhammed told Justice Taiwo that the suspect committed the offence between November 2019 and February 2021.

The lawyer also told the judge that the defendant forged several Bank of America confirmation and Barclays Bank messages on Swift Code Transaction, purporting it to represent a transfer of various sums amounting to USD 232.8 million to different companies account belonging to him.

The companies account he was accused of intending to use as conduit pipes to wire the monies are; Labrador Shipping Services Limited; Blessdore Oil and Gas Limited and Frankann Global Enterprises Limited.

According to the prosecutor, the offences committed by the defendant are contrary to and punishment under Sections 8(b)and 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

The anti-graft agency further notified the judge that the offences are contrary to Section 364 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011 and punishable under the same Section.

But the defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge as made against him by the EFCC.

After entertaining arguments from lawyers on the hearing of the defendant’s bail application, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in her ruling ordered that the defendant be remanded in the custody of the EFCC till December 2, when his bail application shall be heard and determined.

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