The Police Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos State has arraigned James Abidemi and his company, Diamondsmith De-Great Universal Petroleum Corporation, and others at large before the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos State for fraud.
The arraignment of the accused on September 15, 2022 was confirmed in a statement by the SFU on Wednesday.
The SFU Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Police Eyitayo Johnson, said the defendants were arraigned for the offence of conspiracy and obtaining the sum of N396,999,080.00 by false pretence, fraudulent conversion and stealing.
Johnson said: “The complainant is a consulting firm with prime focus in assisting clients to source and render payment services in Foreign Exchange for goods and services around the world.
“In furtherance to the Memorandum of Understanding between the consulting firm and the suspect, the suspect’s company, Diamondsmith De-Great Universal Petroleum, received the aforesaid sum in tranches, between the 23rd to 28th May, 2022.
“The money was meant for the purchase of $688,000.00 USD at an exchange rate of N577 per US Dollar and was supposed to remit same as $250,000.00 USD, $325,000.00 USD, $100,000.00 USD and $13,000.00 USD to specified beneficiaries in Mainland China and Hong Kong.
“The suspect provided fake telexes as proof of remittance to foreign business partners of the complainant while the money was actually diverted to another member of the syndicate, a banker based in Ghana who dispersed the funds to several other accomplices.
“Consequently, the Unit has solicited the cooperation of INTERPOL to apprehend the remaining members of the syndicate that are outside Nigeria.
“The Commissioner of Police, Special Fraud Unit, CP. Anyasinti Josephine Nneka has advised banks and financial Institutions on the need to increase their cyber-security surveillance, conduct routine background checks on staff who have login privileges that could be compromised to make banks porous to cyber-attacks.
“She equally enjoins the Public on the need to investigate sources of unexpected inflows into their accounts.
“Where such funds are found to have been wrongly credited, the recipient should cooperate with their banks and make conscious efforts to reverse and re-route same, for utilising such funds is a criminal offence.”