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Money Laundering: EFCC Closes Case against Chinese National, Li Ya Ping

By Wilson Uwujaren
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on June 25, 2018 closed its case against Li Ya Ping, a Chinese national who is being prosecuted for concealing the sum of $300,000 (about N108 million), while attempting to board a flight to Dubai, and failing to declare same.

Ping is standing trial before Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on a one-count charge of money laundering, for contravening Section 2 (3) (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).

It states that: “Transportation of money or negotiable devices in extra of $10,000 or its equivalent by people in or outside the country shall be declared to the Nigerian Customs Service".

Prosecuting counsel, G.K. Latona, told the court that it was closing its case, after presenting five witnesses.

“We have no more witnesses to present, and will be closing our case,” he said.

Responding, P.I.N Ikwueto, SAN, told the court that having reviewed the case, “the defence will like to apply for a no-case submission in line with section 302 and 303 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA”.

“We acknowledge that this trial has been one of the shortest for the records and pray this honorable court to grant us seven days to file a written application in support of the no-case submission,” he added.

Latona, however, argued that the decision by the defence to file a no-case submission was a delay tactic, as the prosecution was ready to respond within 48 hours.

He said: “This is a tactic to delay the conclusion of this trial, as there are no grounds for a no-case submission. All evidences point to the fact that the defendant, Li Ya Ping concealed the sum of $300,000 and failed to declare the said sum, which is an offence punishable by Section 2 (3) (5) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended).”

The judge, thereafter, gave two weeks for the defence to file its no-case application and adjourned to October 16, 2018 for continuation of trial.

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