May 23, 2024

EFCC arraigns three over alleged $1.6m Cryptocurrency fraud

EFCC arraigns three over alleged $1.6m Cryptocurrency fraud

Glory Ebomah

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, arraigned the operator of McHarvey Capital Limited, Benjamin Okenna Ikaa and two others Chidera Jonas and Ikaa Ejike Benjamin before Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja.

The trio are facing four-count charges bordering on obtaining by false pretence and money laundering in a crypto-currency investment fraud to the tune of $1,621,352, (One Million, Six Hundred and Twenty-0ne Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Two United States Dollars).

One of the charges reads: “That you Benjamin Okenna Ikaa (alias George; Gavrilovich; P.Aleksandra and Aaron Griffin), Chidera Jonas (at large) and Ikaa Ejike Benjamin (at large) on or about 20th December 2022 at Ugbowa, Abakpa Nike, Enugu, Enugu State within the jurisdiction of this honourable court with intent to defraud, did send electronic messages which materially misrepresent facts in your website about cryptocurrency investment to one Monica Garcia upon which she relied and suffered financial loss of $1,501, 352, 00 (One Million, Five Hundred and One Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty-Two United States Dollars)  and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 14(2) of the Cybercrime (Prohibition Prevention etc.) Act 2015.”

Ikaa, being the only defendant in court pleaded not guilty to the charges, when they were read to him.  After that, prosecution counsel Bamidele Akanmode asked for a trial date and requested that the defendant be remanded in the EFCC’s custody, pending the striking of a plea deal with him. In contrast, the defence counsel, Adachi Abel, prayed for a short adjournment time.

Justice Nwite remanded the defendant in Kuje Correctional Centre and adjourned until December 13, 2023.

Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC, Dele Oyewale, said the three defendants, Benjamin Ikaa, Chidera Jonas and Ikaa Benjamin defrauded their unsuspecting victims by promising them mouth-watering daily returns in crypto-currency investment on social media platforms.

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