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$117 Million Fraud: FBI Arrest 35 Nigerians In Texas (See List)

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$117 Million Fraud: FBI Arrest 35 Nigerians In Texas (See List)

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested 35 Nigerians in North Texas, in fraud worth $117 Million.

They will face indictment for money laundering and wire scam that defrauded over 100 people nationwide.

According to the department, the defendants are accused of conducting romance schemes to defraud and steal money from older American adults.

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The defendants use alias names and trolled dating sites like Match.com, ChistianMingle, JSwipe, and PlentyofFish, to prey on vulnerable targets like widowed or divorced.

These victims are made to build trust with the scammers as they would pose interest by sharing a fake snivel story and then request a large sum of money.

“These criminals rely on victims’ isolation, loneliness, and sometimes their grief. The only mistake these victims make is being generous to the wrong people. ” Acting U.S. Attorney Prerak Shah stated at a press conference announcing the charges.

“Once they depleted the savings they vanished into thin air.

“Romance scams are often difficult to prosecute because victims are often embarrassed, feel duped, and don’t want to come forward.

Shah encourages victims to come forward and reassure them that the scams are more common than one might think — more than 20,000 people lost $600 million in romance scams in 2020

Eleven of the arrests were made in the Northern District of Texas while 24 arrests were made in the Eastern District of Texas.

Nigerians Charged in the Northern District of Texas ;

  1. David Animashaun, 38 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy.
  2. Oluwalobamise Michael Moses, 40 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy
  3. Irabor Fatarr Musa, 51 – arrested in the Eastern District of Texas, charged by the Northern District of Texas wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
  4. Ijeoma Okoro, 31 – arrested in DFW, wire fraud conspiracy fraud, money laundering conspiracy
  5. Chukwemeka Orji, 36 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
  6. Emanuel Stanley Orji, 35 – arrested in DFW, charged with wire fraud conspiracy
  7. Frederick Orji, 37 – arrested in Dallas, charged with wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
  8. Uwadiale Esezobor, 36 – arrested in Lubbock, charged with mail & wire fraud conspiracy
  9. Victor Idowu, 36 – arrested in Los Angeles, charged with mail & wire fraud conspiracy
  10. Afeez Abiola Alao, 37 – wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy
  11. Ambrose Sunday Ohide, 47 – wire fraud conspiracy

All of the defendants named are innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face up 20 years in federal prison on the wire fraud conspiracy counts and up to 10 years in federal prison on the money laundering conspiracy counts.

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REVEALED: See List Of World Bank’s 18 Backlisted Firms, Persons

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REVEALED: See List Of World Bank's 18 Backlisted Firms, Persons

The World Bank has blacklisted 18 Nigerian individuals and firms for engaging in corrupt practices, fraud, and collusive practices in its 2021 the fiscal year 2021, a new report has revealed.

A list of debarred individuals and firms was presented in a new annual report titled World Bank Group Sanctions System FY21.

The debarments were made by the World Bank Sanctions Board, World Bank Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer, and the African Development Bank (AfDB).

The debarments made by AfDB were recognised by World Bank, making the affected firms to be barred under the cross-debarment policy.

Based on the World Bank Sanctions Board’s decision, Elie Abou Ghazaleh and Fadi Abou Ghazaleh, alongside their firm, Abou Ghazaleh Contracting Nigeria Limited, were debarred for six months for collusive practices.

Based on the decision of the World Bank Chief Suspension and Debarment Officer, a Nigerian firm, Swansea Tools Resources, was debarred for fraudulent practices for two years and 10 months.

Referred to under Sanctions Case No 651, it was disclosed that the firm misrepresented its past experience in its bid for a road maintenance contract.

The report read in part, “The SDO determined that the respondent, a Nigerian firm, engaged in fraudulent practice by misrepresenting its past experience in its bid for a road maintenance contract under state employment and expenditure project in Nigeria. The SDO imposed on the respondent a debarment with the conditional release for a minimum period of two years and 10 months. As a mitigating factor, the SDO considered the respondent’s limited cooperation with investigators, noting that the respondent produced documents and agreed to be interviewed but did not accept responsibility for the misconduct.”

Another Nigerian firm, Juckon Construction and Allied Services Nigeria Limited, was debarred for corrupt practices for three years. Referred to under Sanctions Case No 649, it was disclosed that the firm made improper payment to a public official.

The report read, “The SDO determined that the respondent, a Nigerian firm, engaged in corrupt practice by making an improper payment to a public official in connection with the award and/or execution of two waste management and refuse collection contracts under a state employment and expenditure project in Nigeria. The SDO imposed on the respondent a debarment with a conditional release for a minimum period of four years.”

A Nigerian, Okafor Glory, was debarred for fraudulent practices for four years, while the firm involved, Unique Concept Enterprises, was debarred for five years for some reason.

Another Nigerian firm, Asbeco Nigeria Limited, was debarred for five years for corrupt practices.

The matter which involved Glory and the firm, Unique Concept Enterprises, was presented under Sanctions Case No 691.

It read in part, “The SDO determined that the respondents, a Nigerian firm and a Nigerian citizen, engaged in fraudulent practices by submitting false documents in connection with two refuse collection and disposal contracts under a state employment and expenditure project in Nigeria. In particular, the SDO found that: (i) the corporate respondent submitted a falsified income tax clearance certificate in its bids for the contracts; and (ii) both respondents submitted a falsified advance payment guarantee in connection with the execution of one of the contracts.

“The SDO imposed on the corporate respondent a debarment with conditional release for a minimum period of five years. On the individual respondent, the SDO imposed a debarment with conditional release for a minimum period of four years. As aggravating factors, the SDO considered that (i) the corporate respondent engaged in a repeated pattern of misconduct, and (ii) the individual respondent was the managing director of the corporate respondent.”

The matter which involved Asbeco Nigeria was presented under Sanctions Case No 675.

It read in part, “The SDO determined that the respondent, a Nigerian firm, engaged in corrupt practices in connection with an erosion control contract under an erosion and watershed management project in Nigeria. Specifically, the SDO found that the respondent (i) made a payment of N2m (approximately $12,000) to the project’s engineer to influence his actions in connection with the procurement and/or execution of the contract, and (ii) made a facilitation payment of N50,000 (approximately $160) to the project’s cashier to influence her actions in connection with the execution of the same contract.

“The SDO imposed on the respondent a debarment with conditional release for a minimum period of five years. In determining this sanction, the SDO considered as aggravating factors the respondent’s (i) engagement in a repeated pattern of corrupt activity and (ii) interference with INT’s investigation, noting in particular that the respondent engaged in acts intended to materially impede the exercise of the Bank’s contractual audit rights.”

Based on the World Bank’s Sanctions Board Decision, A.G. Vision Construction Nigeria Limited was debarred for fraudulent practices and collusive practices for four years and six months.

Not included in the report is a recent debarment of a Nigerian consultant, Salihu Tijani, who is a consultant for the National Social Safety Nets Project, a project designed to ensure cash transfers to poor and vulnerable households in Nigeria.

Tijani was barred for 38 months for engaging in corrupt practices.

Aside from the firms mentioned so far, there are some firms that were debarred by other multilateral organisations under cross-debarment, which makes them debarred by the World Bank.

Sangtech International Services Limited, Sangar & Associates (Nigeria) Limited, Mashad Integrated And Investment Co Limited, and Medniza Global Merchants Limited were debarred by the AfDB two years under cross-debarment recognised by the World Bank.

ALG Global Concept Nigeria Limited, Abuharaira Labaran Gero, Qualitrends Global Solutions Nigeria Limited, and Maxicare Company Nigeria Limited were debarred by the AfDB for three years under cross-debarment recognised by the World Bank.

In his opening message in the report, the World Bank Group’s David Malpass, stated that the bank had granted over $157bn to assist developing countries, as he emphasised the need for integrity and transparency standards in public finance.

“Since the beginning of the global pandemic, the World Bank Group has deployed more than $157bn in critical assistance to developing countries. The crisis has required us to be rapid and innovative in mobilising this historic support.

“Yet, for these resources to have the needed development impact on the hundreds of millions of people who live in extreme poverty, we must ensure that resources are used efficiently, effectively, and for their intended purposes. And that means remaining vigilant to the scourge of corruption and ensuring that we promote the highest integrity and transparency standards in public finance,” he said.

He further highlighted some of the consequences of corruption, which he said could be devastating.

Malpass said, “The negative impacts of corruption on lives and livelihoods are well known. Corruption diverts scarce development dollars from the people who need them most and corrodes the systems and services that are integral for reducing extreme poverty.

“Entrenched corruption also comes with greater economic costs for countries, as it distorts public expenditures and leads to inefficient allocations of financing away from productive investments toward rent-seeking activities. And corruption increases the costs of doing business and deters foreign investors from entering new markets.

“As the world moves toward recovering from the pandemic’s damaging impacts, these costs can also restrict the private sector, which plays an important role in revitalizing economic growth and development in our client countries,” he added.

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Colin Powell: Buhari Condoles With The People Of United States

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Colin Powell: Buhari Condoles With The People Of United States

President Muhammadu Buhari has offered his deepest condolences to President Joe Biden, the government, and the people of the United States, on the passing of the former Secretary of State, Gen. Colin Powell.

The President’s condolence message is contained in a statement released by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, late Monday evening in Abuja.

The president believed that as the first African American Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the highest military position in the U.S. Department of Defense as well as the first African American Secretary of State, Colin Powell was a great statesman and a global icon in every sense of it.

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The Nigerian leader recounted that as U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell played a very important role in advancing his country’s foreign policy and national defense interests.

He observed that the deceased was also a great advocate of the eradication of Polio and in addressing the deadly spread of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa.

The president described late Colin Powell as a professional soldier, a distinguished public servant, and an effective diplomat, who gave his utmost for his country.

President Buhari said: ”My prayers and thoughts are with Powell’s family and the people of the United States as they mourn the death of an exceptional leader and one of America’s greatest pride.”

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World Bank Approves $400m Credit For Nigeria COVID-19 vaccination

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World Bank Approves $400m Credit For Nigeria COVID-19 vaccination

The World Bank’s Board of Directors has approved a $400 million dollar credit to Nigeria in additional financing, from its International Development Association (IDA), for COVID-19 vaccine acquisition, the bank announced in a statement it issued on Friday, in Washington.

The bank said that the fund is meant to provide upfront financing for safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine acquisition and deployment within the country and that it would be implemented as part of the COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project.

Building on the Federal Government’s plan to break the chain of local transmission of COVID-19 and limit the spread of the virus, the original COVID-19 response program would be expanded to enable equitable access, the statement said.

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This is in order to purchase affordable COVID-19 vaccines for 18 percent, or about 40 million of Nigeria’s population, and support effective vaccine deployment to 50 percent, about 110 million Nigerians.

It also said that the additional financing would allow Nigeria to purchase and deploy COVID-19 vaccines, strengthen relevant health systems that are necessary for a successful deployment, and prepare for future health emergencies.

“Critically, it will permit the acquisition of vaccines to support Nigeria’s objective of having access to vaccines under the right conditions of value-for-money, regulatory approvals, and delivery time, among other important features.

“This will ensure that the government meets its plans to vaccinate 51 percent of its population in two years.”

Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, said as the Nigerian government continues to tackle the effect of a third wave of the pandemic, it was crucial to continue to vaccinate citizens in addition to the use of non-pharmaceutical interventions.

This, he said, was to avoid the dreadful consequences of another lockdown that left in its wake an economic toll the country was still grappling with.

“This additional funding would ensure that the Nigerian government has the necessary financial resources to keep its vaccination drive going. This would mean that Nigerians will have increased access to the COVID-19 vaccination.”

Mr. Ayodeji Ajiboye, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project, said recognizing that there was currently an excess in demand for vaccines from both high-income and lower-income countries, the additional funds would let Nigeria acquire the vaccine at the earliest.

He said it would strengthen the capacity of all states and the Federal Capital Territory to deploy the vaccines.

It will also strengthen the country’s health system interventions, such as enhancing health-emergency response capacity of health workers, cold chain equipment, disease surveillance, data management, and use, and laboratory testing for the long-term.”

The bank recalled that since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it had deployed over $157 billion dollars to fight the health, economic and social impacts of the pandemic, the fastest and largest crisis response in its history.

Similarly, it also said that it was supporting over 50 low- and middle-income countries, more than half of which are in Africa, with the purchase and deployment of COVID-19 vaccines and was making available $20 billion dollars in financing for that purpose until the end of 2022.

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