Secondary School Dropout Jailed Two Years Over Internet Love Scam

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Kemisola Oye 

A 29-year-old secondary school dropout, Idris Balogun was earlier today day sentenced to two years imprisonment by a Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja over an internet love scam.

Justice Ismail Ijelu also ordered the forfeiture of the convict’s iPhone 6, a small Nokia phone, and N350,000 to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The judge however gave the convict an option of a fine of Two Million Naira (N2,000,000.00), to be paid within 30 days.

The convict was earlier arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on a count of procuring false documents.

He was accused of being into internet fraud where he presented himself as one Helen Smith, a Caucasian female, on social media seeking love and defrauded his victims of Two Thousand, Eight Hundred Dollars ($2,800.00). 

EFCC said he committed the offence on 19 September 2023 at Ikoyi Ajayi Street, Abule in Lagos. 

According to the Commission, the offence committed contravened Section 318 of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State 2015.

However, Balogun pleaded guilty to the charge preferred against him.

While reviewing the facts of the case, the EFCC said that they got intelligent information that the convict was into internet fraud.

The anti-graft agency said that he was arrested and brought to its office on 20 September 2033, adding that his phone was scrutinized and it was discovered that he pretended to be a white female from Florida.

The Commission further stated that Balogun gave a voluntary statement and that he made $2,800, US dollars from the love scam.

It added that the convict on 8 December 2023, applied for a plea bargain agreement.

“On 19 February  2024, he deposited his iPhone 6, a small Nokia phone, and raised a UBA bank voucher of N350,000,” the Commission said.

After the review, the judge asked Balogun if he understood the charge and the plea he took, and he answered in the affirmative.

In his judgment, Justice Ijelu held that the court was satisfied that Balogun understood the charge and that he was not forced or threatened to plead guilty.

The court held that: ”Balogun is hereby convicted of the one count charge.

The convict is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment with an option of N2 million fine, to be paid within 30 days.

“The convict shall be remanded in a correctional facility until he pays the fine.

“The court orders the forfeiture of the convict’s iPhone 6, a small Nokia phone, and N350,000 to the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“He shall take to writing the EFCC, that he would always be of good behaviour,” the judge said.

 

Eighteen-Eleven Media 

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