A notorious international fraudster, known as Scales Olatunji, has been sentenced to 235 years in prison for defrauding the Norwegian Government and its citizens of N525,172,580. The Calabar Division of the Court of Appeal recently upheld Olatunji’s conviction for internet fraud and money laundering charges, which were initially brought against him by a Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
According to the spokesperson of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Wilson Uwujaren, the court ruling took place on Friday, June 23, 2023. Olatunji had been found guilty of forty-five counts of internet fraud and money laundering in June 2022 by Justice Agatha Okeke, based on charges brought against him by the Uyo Zonal Command of the EFCC. The court handed down a sentence of 235 years imprisonment without the option of a fine.
The conviction of Olatunji followed an investigation initiated by a petition from the Oslo Police District in Norway, requesting the assistance of the EFCC in probing a network of Nigerian citizens involved in defrauding Norwegians. Subsequent investigations revealed that Olatunji was part of a syndicate of internet fraudsters specializing in Business Email Compromise (BEC), and he had used the proceeds from his criminal activities to acquire luxurious properties in prime locations in Lagos State.
This acquisition of properties was found to be in violation of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (as amended), which is punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
Not content with the ruling of the high court, Olatunji proceeded to appeal the judgment and raised eleven grounds of appeal. However, during the appeal hearing, the EFCC’s counsel, Nwandu Ukoha, argued against setting aside the judgment, asserting that the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt.
On Friday, the three-man panel led by Justice Muhammed Baba Idris delivered its judgment, upholding Olatunji’s conviction and dismissing his appeal.