Seven internet fraudsters, also known as “Yahoo Boys” whose conviction was secured by the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Thursday, have been given various options of fine.
The seven were convicted and sentenced by Justice I.M Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Enugu on separate charges bordering on impersonation and obtaining money under false pretences from unsuspecting foreign nationals.
This was disclosed in a statement issued on Friday by the Spokesman of the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren.
The fines are to be paid into the government Treasury Single Account (TSA) or the convicts risk one year jail term.
TSA is a public accounting system using a single account, or a set of linked accounts by government to ensure all revenue receipts and payments are done through a Consolidated Revenue Account (CRA) at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The pilot TSA scheme commenced in 2012 using a unified structure of accounting for 217 government Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, for accountability and transparency in public fund management.
The convicts are: Nwafor Clinton Chetachi, Utogbo Joseph,Omilo Collins Chimere, Enegide Ifeanyi Kizito, Chukwuajama Collins Arinze, Victor Udekwe and Chukwudi Emmanuel.
The charge against Nwafor Clinton Chetachi reads, “That you, Nwafor Clinton Chetachi sometime in April 2022 at Owerri within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court fraudulently impersonated one American military personnel serving in Syria using the name of one Britton Thomas, an American Citizen, in order to gain advantage for yourself from Kristine, a Russian woman residing in Latvia, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 22 (3) (a) (b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc) Act, 2015 and punishable under Section 22 (4) of the same Act.
All seven defendants pleaded guilty when the charges were read to them. Justice Buba sentenced all to one year imprisonment with various options of fine.
They are also to forfeit their phones which will be auctioned by the EFCC and the proceeds paid into the Federal Government’s Consolidated Revenue Account.