Crime News

Interpol Declares Businesswoman Munachim Onyia Wanted Over Alleged N5.3bn Fraud -Report

The Interpol section of the Nigeria Police Force has declared a businesswoman Munachim Onyia wanted over her involvement in a N5.3 billion investment fraud, Peoples Gazette reports.

Before going at large, Ms Onyia had been running MECO Enterprises, a sole proprietorship she registered in September 2018, according to companies registration filings.
She also ran IBC Africa, an investment firm, and the eponymous Muna Investment, a Ponzi scheme through which she allegedly swindled unsuspecting investors.

A warrant of arrest issued for Onyia by the Lagos Division of the Federal High Court and seen by The Gazette said she is wanted for obtaining money under false pretence and pretending to be a staff of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“She is wanted by the police for the offence of obtaining Money under False Pretence the suspect falsely claimed to be a CBN Agent and obtained over one Billion Naira (N1B),” a notice issued by the Interpol section of the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos said.

The Lagos State Police Command also arrested Silas Babatunde, a marketing executive who was with Guarantee Trust Bank at the time of the fraud. The police are looking into whether or not Mr Babatunde acted alone or with the knowledge and approval of his superiors at the bank, The Gazette learnt.

A representative of GTB confirmed to The Gazette that Mr Babatunde was a staff of the bank, but failed to disclose when and why he ceased to be a staff of the top financial services provider.

CHIVE GPS, an intelligence research analysis firm based in Lagos, initiated the petition on behalf of the victims. Many of the victims said they have been extorted repeatedly by the police and other law enforcement agencies while the principals in the fraud remain at large.

At a meeting of victims held in Ikoyi two weeks ago, victims said Ms Onyia duped them to the tune of N5.3 billion, according to attendees who shared the outcome of the meeting with The Gazette this week. They also alleged that Ms Onyia had been on the run and was looking for ways to circumvent justice and reparation.

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