A Lebanese, who was identified as Hamza Koudeih and two others, suspected to be accomplices of Ismaila Mustapha a.k.a Mompha have been arrested by operatives of the anti-graft agency (EFCC).
EFCC arrested Koudeih at his N1.8 billion luxury apartment at the topmost floor of the 33-storey Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island, Lagos. The arrest was successfully carried out after a three-hour scuffle with him and his wife who refused opening the door to their apartment despite appeals made by the building‘s chief security officer.
According to reports, Dubai-based Nigerian social media celebrity, Mompha and other arrested suspects are reportedly kingpins of a network of cyber criminals who lived in a fortified apartment with triple reinforced fire-proof door and closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras. And it is from this apartment they reportedly laundered N33 billion through three firms.
It took a while for EFCC operatives to finally gain access into the apartment after trying to break down the door with breaching tools, his wife claimed that her husband had escaped through the window.
Koudeih was later nabbed hiding in the ceiling and after a thorough check, a fire-proof safe containing different charms and talismans in calabashes were uncovered in his bedroom. He claimed the charms were his “prayer objects”.
“Our officials knew that he was still inside and they were even hoping to persuade him not to jump out through the window because it would be suicide,” EFCC Lagos Zonal Head, Mr. Mohammed Rabo, who confirmed the arrest, told Newsmen.
He disclosed that Koudeih was arrested based on “purely EFCC intelligence”. But the operation was “an offshoot of the collaboration between the EFCC and the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“Actionable intelligence received from local and international law enforcement agencies had revealed that Koudeih and Mompha alongside their collaborators are high valued targets in Organised Cyber Syndicate Network (OCSN).
“Investigations have also revealed that Mompha uses a firm known as Ismalob Global Investments Limited to perpetrate about N14 billion money laundering while Koudeih also operate two firms namely: THK Services Limited and CHK properties Limited to launder about N19 billion.” He added.
Meanwhile, after the arrest of Mompha, EFCC uncovered 51 bank accounts he allegedly uses for money laundering, and the five wristwatches recovered from him after his arrest on Tuesday October 22, which was earlier estimated to be worth 20million, has been found to be worth over N60 million.