The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday revealed that a convicted internet fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke, who is currently serving a 24-year jail term at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison in Lagos is being investigated for allegedly masterminding a $1million scam from prison.
The anti-graft agency in a statement issued by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, said that Aroke was able to pull off the scam using a network of accomplices, some of who are targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.
Uwujaren, who said Aroke’s latest fraud exploits were uncovered through intelligence received by the EFCC, added that investigation revealed that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre.
The statement reads: “He allegedly pulled the heist right from prison using a network of accomplices, some of them targets of fraud and money laundering investigation.
“The lid on his latest fraud exploits from the bowels of the Maximum Correctional Centre was blown following intelligence received by the EFCC. The immediate riddle that confronted the EFCC was how it was possible for the convict to continue to ply his ignoble trade of Internet fraud from prison.
“Preliminary investigation revealed that the convict, against established standard practice, had access to internet and mobile phone in the Correctional Centre where he is supposed to be serving his jail term.
“Even more puzzling was the finding that Aroke got himself admitted to the Nigeria Police Hospital, Falomo, Lagos, for an undisclosed ailment. And from the hospital, he would move out to lodge in hotels, meet with his wife and two children and attend other social functions.
“The circumstance of his admission into the hospital and those who aided his movement from the hospital to hotels and other social engagements is already being investigated by the EFCC.
“For a felon supposedly serving a jail term, investigation revealed that the Aroke used a fictitious name, Akinwunmi Sorinmade, to open two accounts with First Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.
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“He also bought a property at Fountain Spring Estate, Lekki, Lagos, in 2018 for N22million and a Lexus RX 350 2018 model registered in his wife’s name, Maria Jennifer Aroke.
“The convict was also in possession of his wife’s bank account token in prison, which he used to freely transfer funds.
“Further investigation revealed that, while his trial was ongoing in 2015, Aroke bought a four-bedroom duplex at Plot 12, Deji Fadoju Street, Megamounds Estate, from Lekki County Homes, Lekki for N48million.”
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