EFCC denies telling Mompha to lay low to avoid FBI arrest

EFCC says it is not in the business of advising suspected internet fraudsters.

Mompha displays his riches (Lailasnews)

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has denied advising Instagram celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha aka Mompha, to keep a low profile in order to avoid garnering attention from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in the wake of Hushpuppi's troubles with the U.S agency.

Mompha had boasted to On Air Personality (OAP), Daddy Freeze, that he received a phone call from the top brass of the EFCC after Hushpuppi was arrested and tried for fraud in the United States.

“I had to remove my picture (after Hushpuppi’s arrest). EFCC had to call me directly to post my picture back because it will look as if maybe I was involved, many people will just come to my page and say you are next, the FBI is coming for you. Is that how it works?" Mompha said.

Mompha and Hushpuppi used to be buddies.

However, in a statement, EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said the "EFCC wishes to dissociate itself from claims by Ismaila Mustapha, alias Mompha, currently circulating in the social media, that he was advised by the Commission to maintain a low profile in the wake of the indictment of his friend, Abbas Ramon alias Hushpuppi in a $1.1m international fraud conspiracy by US Law enforcement.

"The claim which did not mention the official of the Commission who supposedly gave the advice, is spurious and should be discountenanced.

"The Commission is not in the business of advising suspected internet fraudsters and it is far-fetched that it would counsel one against whom it has pending criminal charge in court."

The EFCC added that "Mompha and his company, Ismalob Global Investment Limited are facing prosecution by the EFCC on a 22-count charge alleging various offences such as retention of proceeds of unlawful activities to wit;

"Fraud, failure to report transaction to the Commission as required by the provision of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended), negotiating foreign exchange without license, contrary to Section 5 and 29 of the Foreign Exchange Monitoring and Miscellaneous (Provisions) Act, 2004;

"Engaging in foreign exchange transaction other than through the official foreign exchange market, contrary to provision of Section 11(1) (a) of the National Economic Intelligence Establishment Act to the tune of N32 billion before Justice A. M. Liman of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

"The Commission had called 10 witnesses and closed its case. But rather than enter his defense, Mompha filed a no-case submission which was overruled by the court and called upon to open his defense."

Mompha was first arrested by the EFCC in 2019 as he made to return to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where he is based, and was re-arrested in 2020.

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