Court jails beautician for internet fraud

A Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Monday sentenced a beautician, Williams Kingsley, to four months imprisonment for internet fraud.

The judge, Maurine Onyetenu, did not give the convict an option of fine, according to a statement on Monday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which prosecuted the case.

The Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC arraigned Mr Kingsley on a lone-count charge of possessing fraudulent documents.

The charge reads: “That you, Kingsley Williams “M” sometime in 2022, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court did possess documents containing false pretences and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud-Related Offenses Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1 (3) of the same Act”.

Mr Kingsley pleaded guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

Counsel to the EFCC, Enobong Ubokudom, reviewed the facts of the case and tendered the confessional statements of the defendant, his laptop and the fraudulent documents, which were all admitted in evidence and marked as exhibit A, B, C and D.

Mr Ubokudom urged the court to convict Mr Kingsley as charged.

Defense counsel, Francis Ezike told the court that his client was a “first-time offender”. He prayed the court to temper justice with mercy and give him a lesser sentence.

Justice Onyetenu sentenced Mr Kingsley to four months imprisonment.

The sentence is to run from the date of arrest. The court further ordered that the laptop, used in committing the crime, be forfeited to the federal government.

Mr Kingsley’s journey to jail started on 4 November, 2022 when he was arrested by EFCC operatives, following intelligence concerning his online criminal activities.

The EFCC investigations revealed that the convict specialized in employment scam. His modus operandi includes luring his victims with job opportunities which never existed and deceiving them into paying for fraudulent working tools for the phony jobs.

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