In what may be described as the biggest catch of the new year, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has smashed a syndicate of suspected fraudsters who duped their victims, within and outside Nigeria, over N300million in cases involving different fake crude oil deals. Two members of the syndicate, Michael Oghenemi Morowie and Emmanuel Owoicho, are currently in the custody of EFCC, explaining their involvement in the alleged crude oil scam.EFCC moved against the syndicate following complainants by victims, who have been fleeced by the alleged fraudsters who operate, using different pseudo names and companies.
An unsuspecting victim alleged that members of the syndicate collected the sum of N119million from him in the pretext of supplying him two million barrels of Bonny Light Crude Oil. According to him, the oil supply documents, which were purportedly obtained from the NNPC, were, however, found to be fakes. In the course of investigation, operatives of EFCC quizzed one Samson Lawal Omobere of Etsam Oil and Gas Limited, who admitted to have collected the total sum of money from the complainant.
Omobere alleged that he transferred a substantial part of the money to Magnificent Marine Services Limited. This led to the arrest of one Michael Oghenemi Morowie, a director in Magnificent Marine Services Limited, who allegedly withdrew over 358, 000USD and N11, 700,000 from the company’s account under the names of Boma Harry, Peterson Harry and Elder Dan Jumbo. Four drivers’ licences bearing his photograph under the name of Michel O. Morowei as well as several other scam documents from his email address were recovered from his house.
In another case that has now become an albatross around their necks, members of the syndicate also allegedly obtained the sum of N300, 000 from another victim, a Kenyan citizen resident in Germany. The syndicate had allegedly sold the same dummy of supplying him two million barrels of Bonny Light Crude Oil, using the same modus operandi. Also, the EFCC is investigating the notorious syndicate over an alleged case of obtaining the sum of N102.8 million from another complainant under the pretense of supplying him two million barrels of Bonny Light crude oil.
A certain Emmanuel Owoicho of Owoema Resources Limited, confessed to have collected the sum of N15million from the complainant. Oworicho, the principal suspect, allegedly directed the complainant to pay the bulk money to some bank accounts, including Allen Logic Ways Unique Services Limited. Acting on this lead, EFCC arrested one Michael Oghenemi and recovered the letter head of Allen Logic Ways Unique Services, which was registered in the name of Pabor Wariowei, from his house. Other documents recovered from his house included four drivers’ licences bearing his photographs but under different names like Fubara Dan Jumbo, Doma Henry and Peterson Henry.
The sum of N14million was allegedly transferred to Standard Allied Universal Concept registered by Fubara Dan Jumbo, one of the pseudo names used by the suspects. Another suspected member of the syndicate, one Victoria T. Pam, allegedly approached the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment with an export clearance permit No. CP/ co/26/ Vol.1/ 22, which she claimed emanated from the Ministry, and Sales and Purchase Agreement( SPA) of N350,000 metric tons of LPO allegedly between NNPC and Fragola Holdings Limited.
However, following scrutiny by the Ministry, the documents were found to be fakes. When the suspect was eventually arrested, she claimed to have got the document from one Mike Adams, who was allegedly working in Bonny Terminal, Rivers State. The suspect further disclosed that Adams had been collecting proceeds from the deal via Standard Allied Universal Concepts Limited. The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.