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Popular Businessman, Gobir Detained By EFCC Over Alleged Fraud

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, September 13, (THEWILL) – A popular Nigerian business, Alhaji Mohammed Gobir, 55, has been detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), for allegedly defrauding outdoor advertising firm, Afromedia of at least N1.7 billion, in a phoney investment deal.

Sources at the EFCC, said Gobir who operatives arrested on Saturday at his Ikoyi residence, at different times obtained from Afromedia $3.5m, N514, 457,151.87, $2,102,740, and 51,000GBP after he was introduced to the company as a potential investor.

Gobir was still being held by the EFCC as at the time of writing this report.

According to local reports, the EFCC source said Gobir was introduced to Afromedia sometime in 2008 by their private placement consultants, Synergy Capital Advisory Limited, as a high net worth investor who was willing to inject N1 billion into the company, through the acquisition of shares.

Based on his touted pedigree as potential investor, Gobir warmed up to the management of the advertising firm and was eventually named chairman of the Business Development Committee of the board of directors of the company, a position which he later used to allegedly defraud the company.

“Having earned the trust of the company owners, Gobir started demanding large amounts of money, which he termed as business expenses to international consultants, Royal Exchange Burue in the United Kingdom in order to facilitate and secure investments from his bank in the UK, Natwest Bank London.

“The company gave Gobir $1m in cash and paid for his travel expenses on a first class return ticket to UK where he would meet with the purported investors, which investigation later showed never existed nor were the meetings ever held,” one source said.

Gobir was however busted when one of the bosses at Afromedia accompanied him on one of his purported business trips to London. “After the suspect had collected several amounts of money and made several trips to the UK to meet with the purported investors, the group managing director of Afromedia accompanied him to the UK for another round of meeting ostensibly to close the deal.

“But as soon as they landed in the UK, Gobir made a telephone call in which his travel companion overheard him scream aloud, saying his assets were seized by UK anti-money laundering authorities.

“He even showed the GMD an email sent to him for the alleged seizure.

“The suspect confessed to the MD of Afromedia that his money ($250m) was seized by the British authorities five years earlier for alleged money laundering and that he was currently financially handicapped and he needed a bailout of $3,817,000 to get the European Union Money Laundering Waiver Certificate.

“The suspect later presented a “waiver certificate”, to the company and promised to pay them the monies he had collected,” the source said, adding that Gobir was yet to fulfill his promise.

EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwajaren, confirmed the development, according to the news reports.