A Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court in Gwagwalada sentenced Tom Makwe, a fake senator, to two years imprisonment on Wednesday for defrauding a Spanish citizen of €47,082. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged Makwe with two counts of internet fraud.

Makwe pleaded guilty and requested leniency from the court. Justice Aliyu Shafa, delivering the judgment, also offered the convict an option of a N5 million fine. Additionally, Shafa ordered the forfeiture of N30 million and $1,300 recovered from Makwe to the victim, Maria Del Rosario San Jose Garces, through the Spanish embassy in Nigeria. Evidence of the forfeiture must be filed with the court registrar within two weeks.

The court also directed that items recovered from Makwe, including a black 2017 Camry, a Samsung S23, an Apple iPhone 13, and an HP EliteBook, be forfeited to the government. The proceeds from the sale of these items are to be remitted to the victim through the Spanish embassy.

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During his plea for mercy, Makwe expressed regret for his actions, claiming to have reformed. “I am sincerely sorry for my misconduct and bad character. I am a changed person and plead with the court to temper justice with mercy. I will never engage in internet fraud again,” he stated.

Makwe’s defense counsel, Adaji Abel, supported the plea for leniency, highlighting that Makwe was a first-time offender who had cooperated with the EFCC’s investigation, made restitution, and provided valuable information that led to the arrest of other fraudsters.

Prosecutor Deborah Adamu-Eteh informed the court that between December 12, 2021, and November 12, 2022, Makwe, using the aliases Fahad Tonny Makwe, Bryan, and Senator Tompolo, pretended to be a white man and Diplomatic Solicitor with a phone number +34613208672. In this assumed identity, he defrauded Maria Del Rosario San Jose Garces of €47,082 through a Bitcoin wallet address he had created.

 

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