Calabar Court of Appeal Affirms Conviction of Notorious International Fraudster, Scales Olatunji, for Internet Fraud and Money Laundering”
The Court of Appeal in Calabar has upheld the conviction of Scales Olatunji, a well-known international fraudster who was found guilty of internet fraud and money laundering charges by a Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Justice Agatha Okeke, on June 27, 2022, declared Olatunji guilty on forty-five counts of internet fraud and money laundering filed against him by the Uyo Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC). The judge sentenced him to 235 years in prison without the option of a fine.
The prosecution of the convict followed a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway, seeking assistance from the EFCC in investigating a network of Nigerian citizens who had defrauded several Norwegians.
Investigations revealed that Olatunji was part of a syndicate of internet fraudsters specializing in Business Email Compromise (BEC). He defrauded the Norwegian government and its citizens of N525,172,580 and used the proceeds to acquire luxury properties in prime locations in Lagos State.
The offense is in violation of Section 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended) and is punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.
However, dissatisfied with the judgment, Olatunji appealed to the Court of Appeal, raising 11 grounds of appeal and requesting the court to overturn Justice Okeke’s verdict.
During the appeal, the EFCC’s counsel, Nwandu Ukoha, argued for the affirmation of the lower court’s judgment, stating that “the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.”
In a judgment delivered on Friday, a three-member panel led by Justice Muhammed Baba Idris upheld Olatunji’s conviction and dismissed his appeal.