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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned James Edwin Ehiaghe and Aimienmwona Osahon before Justice O.O Tokode of the Federal High Court Benin, Edo State for ATM fraud.

They were docked on four counts bordering on ATM fraud, forgery, impersonation, conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretences and possession of scam documents.

The offences are contrary to section 1, 2 and 6 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006.

Ehiaghe and Osahon were alleged to belong to a syndicate of fraudsters who specialize in defrauding their victims through text messages. They were separately charged with two counts each by the Commission.

According to the complainant, on 18th January 2016, she received an SMS on her MTN line purported to have emanated from Central Bank of Nigeria’s Customer Care Department, claiming that her ATM Card will be deactivated unless she called the ‘CBN Customer Care Phone Number 01342233’ to update her bank details.

After putting a call across to the number she was asked to send her Primary Account Number (PAN) and her ATM Primary Identification Number (PIN) an instruction she naively complied with only to receive a debit alert of the sum of N120, 000 from her account.

Investigation later revealed that the said amount deducted from the victim’s account was transferred to the second accused person’s account who was arrested by the bank’s security officials after the account was flagged by EFCC.

Operatives of the commission found various incriminating items including a laptop containing some scam documents, various fake driver’s licenses, internet modems and ATM cards of different banks, in a search conducted on the suspects.

The accused persons pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.

In view of the accused persons’ plea, the prosecuting counsel, Mbachie Innocent applied for a trial date.

The defence counsel, O. Egharedba and A. Odemwingie respectively applied for bail for their clients.

Justice Tokode adjourned the case to Thursday July 7, 2016 for hearing of the bail applications, while the accused will continue on the administrative bail granted them by the EFCC with additional guarantee provided by their counsel.

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