Hamza Koudeih, the Lebanese associate of Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, has been remanded in prison by a federal high court in Lagos.
Koudeih who was arraigned for “internet fraud and money laundering”, was remanded alongside one Kayode Phillip, also an associate of Mompha.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned both Koudeuh and Philip before Muslim Hassan, a judge, on a 25-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.
Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC’s spokesman said: “the defendants, who are high-value targets in Organized Cyber Syndicate Network (OCSN), were arrested for their alleged involvement in various cyber crimes and money laundering.”
One of the count reads: “That you, Kayode Phillip (a.k.a Voice of the King) and Hamza Koudeih (a.k.a. HK) sometime in May, 2019 within the jurisdiction of this honourable court conspired among yourselves to commit an offence to wit: conversion of the aggregate sum of $7, 069, 000 (seven million, sixty-nine thousand United States dollars), £1, 000, 000 (one million pounds) and €80,000 (eighty thousand euro), which sum you reasonably ought to have known form part of the proceeds of fraud and you thereby committed an offence contrary to sections 18 (a), 15 (2)(d) of the money laundering prohibition act, 2015 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same act.”
The defendants however pleaded “not guilty” when the charges preferred against them were read out to them in open court.
The EFCC counsel, Abass Mohammed, prayed the court to fix a date for the trial to commence and asked that the defendants be remanded in correctional service custody as the detention facilities of the EFCC had been over-stretched.
The judge fixed December 5, 2019, for the hearing of the bail application and ordered that the defendants be remanded in the Nigerian correctional service custody.