The trial of Ismaila Mustapha aka Mompha continued today, January 15, 2020 as a witness revealed to the court that the defendant runs an unregistered Bureau de Change Company.
Mompha is standing trial alongside his company, Ismalob Global Investments Limited before Justice Muhammad Liman of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos on a 14-count charge bordering on cyber fraud and money laundering to the tune of N33 billion.
The defendant who is fingered as a major figure in an organised transnational cyber fraud network, allegedly used his company, Ismalob Investment Limited to launder the funds, part of which he used in acquiring properties in Dubai.
At the resumed sitting today, the EFCC presented the fourth prosecution witness, a Compliance Officer with the Special Control Unit against Money Laundering (SCUML), Enu Matthew Obun.
Obun, while being led-in-evidence by the EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, told the court that in November 15, 2019, SCUML received a letter from the EFCC requesting for the regulation and compliance status of Ismalob Global Investment Limited and consequent upon inspection, it was discovered that Ismalob is not registered with the SCUML.
“From the database search at the office, there is no information on Ismalob Global Investment Limited and all the transactions that were done on the company’s account between December 14, 2015 and January 25, 2018 are not on SCUML’s record”, he said.
Oyedepo sought to tender in evidence the letters written by the EFCC and the response from SCUML, and they were admitted in evidence.
Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Mr Gboyega Oyewole (SAN) leading Ademola Adefolaju and Kolawole Salami, the witness told the court that he had been with SCUML years since 2006.
He said that he worked in the Compliance department and had steadily got promoted up to the position of a Principal Compliance Officer (PCO).
The witness also told the court that prior to his elevation, he never work in the Operations Department of the agency.
When asked of the full meaning of DNFI, the witness said that it stood for Designated Non Financial Institutions.
According to him, they are categories of businesses which are designated such as casinos, supermarkets, chartered accountants and lawyers.
However, upon the conclusion of the today’s trial, the prosecuror, Oyedepo, pleaded with the court for a short adjournment, the request was granted by the trial judge and the matter was adjourned till February, 26.
In the charge, prosecution alleged that Mompha laundered N32.9 billion through Ismalob Global Investment Ltd. from 2015 to 2018.
Both defendants were alleged to have negotiated foreign exchange transactions in various sums such as N9.4 million, N20 million, N10.4 million, N2.4million, N100 million, N61 million, N40.7 million and N42 million, among others.
Mompha was alleged to have aided the Ismalob to retain in its account, an aggregate sum of N14 billion procured from Pitacalize Ltd.
The alleged offences contravened the provisions of sections 15(2) and 18(3) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 as amended.