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FAKE NIGERIAN PRINCE JAILED FOR 7 YEARS FOR FRAUD IN UK

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A Nigerian who was posing as a member of the Royal family, and mingling with diplomats, captains of industry and senior police officers has been jailed for fraud in UK.

Daily Mail reports that Dr Yilkyes Bala who hails from Plateau State was chauffeur-driven in a black Bentley and hosted sumptuous dinners at the Dorchester to mix with society’s elite.

But the supposedly flourishing businessman was in fact a criminal mastermind responsible for an ambitious immigration racket.

Investigators believe he helped more than 100 of his countrymen, including most of his extended family, to enter the UK illegally under false and stolen identities.

At the centre of the scam was a corrupt Home Office worker who sold him genuine, but improperly issued, refugee passports for £1,500 each.
Bala then used his network of security companies to give the illegal immigrants references and jobs.

They could then ‘hit the jackpot’ and obtain a National Insurance number, giving them full citizen’s rights and access to State benefits.bala 2

But the racket, which continued for up to 16 years, unravelled when the Home Office employee was caught out.

This week Bala, 55, was starting a seven year jail sentence from August 1st, after a jury convicted him of conspiring to breach immigration laws.

A judge at Canterbury Crown Court said the charming fraudster was ‘at the hub’ of a ‘significant conspiracy’ to beat UK border security.

The conviction is an embarrassment for those who mixed with Bala, including the Nigerian Ambassador and senior officers at City of London Police.

The charming conman referred to himself as ‘His Royal Highness Prince Yilkyes Bala Finok Tonglele PhD State Crown Prince’.

He even carried an identity card claiming to be ‘prince of princes’ in the Nigerian Plateau State Council of Chiefs.

Investigators found he did not inherit the honour, but he claimed it was bestowed on him later in life, and they have been unable to disprove this.

Bala travelled to Britain in the early 1980s before studying administration at Greenwich School of Management as part of a philosophy doctorate.

He already claimed to have a degree from the now-defunct Clayton University, in Missouri, U.S., long suspected as a ‘buy-a-degree’ college.

He went on to set up a network of companies and claimed that at one stage they employed 900 people across Europe, Asia and Africa.

The core business was supplying security guards to the construction industry, including one firm based in Knightsbridge, Central London.

His companies, which included Golden Shield and Mayfair and Knightsbridge Guarding, also provided alarm monitoring, VIP bodyguards and uniformed guards for offices.

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Within two decades Bala, a father of six, was living in a £1.3million home in leafy Beckenham, South East London.

He joined the Croydon branch of the Masons and sent his daughters to fee-paying Blackheath High School.

But a huge investigation, which Bala claimed cost up to £10 million, unravelled his empire and exposed him as a ruthless conman.

Officials discovered a corrupt Home Office employee based in Croydon had improperly obtained more than 200 refugee passports.

In genuine cases they are used as travel documents for those claiming asylum in Britain, often fleeing religious or political persecution.

But the official was illicitly applying for them in the name of non-existent relatives of genuine refugees.

At least 91 documents were posted to addresses linked to Bala, who ran the Armour Group chain of companies with offices across the capital.

They were then used as the foundation for applications to remain in the UK as he and his accomplices ran rings around immigration officials.

Those linked to Bala used every trick in the book to beat border controls, from urgent medical visas to travelling as domestic servants.

Some were so shameless that they changed their names by deed poll back to their original identities within weeks of adopting the persona of a non-existent refugee.

Among those given false identities so they could remain in Britain were Bala’s second wife and his brother.

After his arrest, Bala boasted to officials that he was allowed up to seven wives, ‘and a few more on the side’.

Investigators found his home stuffed with paperwork linked to his businesses, with documents in his garage filling two vans alone.

Because of the complex web of his businesses it took the Home Office two years to prepare the case against him.

The illegal immigrants caused chaos in Government systems once they had obtained their new identities.

One man was uncovered by his fingerprints when he was caught drink driving on two occasions, first under his real name and then in a false one.

In some cases, illegal immigrants had already failed to gain citizenship under one name so simply adopted a new identity to try again.

Official company minutes for Bala’s security companies recorded the same people attending meetings under different names.

Bala’s second wife Giwo Tonglele, 46, was also convicted of conspiracy to facilitate illegal entry of persons into the UK and was jailed for five years.

Their former employee Casmir Ekwuhga, 42, was jailed for four years for taking part in the conspiracy, holding a refugee passport illegally and using it to obtain a driving licence fraudulently.

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Jailing them, Judge Heather Norton said the scam was well organised.

She said: ‘These documents were created to order. Each one of you was involved in deceiving the immigration authorities. You were at the hub of the whole enterprise.

‘The motive was simple.It was to provide identities for employees, relatives and friends. It was a significant conspiracy.’

More than 100 illegal immigrants linked to the scam have been arrested, but only a small number are believed to have been convicted and deported.

David Fairclough, of the Home Office, said Bala was brought to justice after a ‘long, complex and painstaking investigation’ and said the case should serve as a warning to others.

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Access Bank’s Herbert Wigwe, Wife, Son’s Funeral To Hold March 4 – 10, 2024

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HERBERT Wigwe, the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, and two other members of his family tragically died in a fatal helicopter crash near the California-Nevada border recently.

 

Plans to honour the lives of Herbert Wigwe (1966 – 2024), his wife and son and span from March 4 to March 10, 2024, as detailed in a schedule obtained by us. The somber events include various ceremonies and services to pay tribute to the departed souls.

Monday, March 4, 2024 marks the Bankers Committee’s Celebration of Herbert, followed by a Service of Songs for Chizzy on Tuesday morning, March 5, 2024 and another Service of Songs for the deceased Wigwes in the evening of the same day.

On Wednesday March 6, from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, a commemoration event will celebrate Herbert’s impactful contributions in the Social Impact Space, followed by an Evening Service of Songs for Herbert at Redeemed Christian Church, City of David Parish.

Thursday, March 7 is dedicated to a Service of Songs at Herbert’s Dad’s parish, along with the somber tasks of traveling to PH for Chizzy’s funeral service and interment, as well as holding Service of Songs for Herbert and his wife.

According to the schedule, Friday, March 8 is designated for the final farewell, with Funeral services and interments planned for both Herbert & Mrs. Wigwe.

Saturday, March 9 will be a day to receive guests, while Sunday, March 10 will culminate in a Thanksgiving Service to honor the lives and legacies of the departed.

Herbert Onyewumbu Wigwe, a revered Nigerian banker and entrepreneur, passed away at the age of 57. As the CEO of Access Holdings Plc and former Group Managing Director/CEO of Access Bank Plc, his leadership transformed a small commercial bank into a global financial institution.

 

Born on August 15, 1966, to Ikwerre parents from Omueke Isiokpo in Rivers State, Herbert attended St. Gregory’s College in Lagos for his secondary education. He later graduated with a degree in accountancy from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1987. Herbert Wigwe’s legacy encompasses not only his professional achievements but also his philanthropy and visionary leadership.

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The INTERPOL Is Set To Move Against Two Cyber Bullies, Adebukola Jesse and Abosede Ilesanmi

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The International Police Division of the Nigerian Police has received petition to move against online bullies, who continue to use the social media platform to spread false and malicious stories about popular Lagos monarch, Oba Saheed Elegushi of Ikate kingdom.

 

In a petition signed by the traditional ruler’s lawyers, M. A. Banire & Associates, a copy which was sighted, the king wants the police to move against one Abosede Comfort Ilesanmi a Nigerian based in Germany and Bukky Jesse who is resident in the United Kingdom, both of whom are using their tik tok accounts to embarrass the traditional ruler.

A part of the petition reads: “The said Mrs.Abosede Comfort Ilesanmi persistently asserts a false claim in her posts on various social media platforms that our Client fathered a child with one Mrs.Omowunmi Aloba,the wife of the late llerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as ‘Mohbad’. These claims are baseless, unwarranted and unsubstantiated by any evidence.

 

It further reads “It is pertinent to also state that despite our client’s various denials of this phantom allegation of paternity, Mrs.Abosede Comfort Itesanmi continues to mischievously assert these claims solely to besmirch our client’s good name and cause him great annoyance, inconvenience and intimidation from different quarters as a result of the false allegation of Mrs Abosede Comfort Ilesanmi.

 

Our findings revealed that another petition was submitted against the Manchester, United Kingdom based Bukky Jesse.

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Society

Interpol, Nigerian Police Drag Realtor, Abimbola Odupaye To Court For Alleged N457m Fraud

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Freezes Odupaye’s Assets Pending Investigation 

 

Following an urgent petition by a real estate company, INTERPOL has commenced investigation and frozen the assets of one Odupaye Abimbola Joseph on grounds of alleged fraud.

Odupaye Abimbola Joseph and her company, Tigers Property LLC have been charged before a Nassarawa Chief Magistrates’ for allegedly obtaining N457 million under false pretences.

 

Other respondents in the suit number M/185/2024 were United Bank For Africa (UBA), Guaranteed Trust Bank, Polaris Bank, Access Bank, Eco Bank, Wema Bank, Fidelity Bank, Abbey Mortgage Bank, First Bank and Toluwani Gideon Olisa.

 

The petitioner, through his counsel, Mr David Njoku, said that the real estate company paid the sum of N467 million to Joseph and her company for the purchase of four ( one bedroom units) of what they claimed to be their Regina Tower Project in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

 

Njoku submitted that his client brought a total number of five investors who signified interest to the purchase of the purported property and committed the total sum of N467 million and 300,500 US dollar to Joseph’s account.

 

The lawyer said that his client, having parted with the huge sum, was unable to obtain the property paid for and Joseph, still at large with the investors’ fund.

 

“It is our humble view that our client, alongside the investors, have been defrauded by Abimbola Joseph and Tigers Property LLC.

 

“Many other innocent citizens will be subjected to same if the matter is not urgently addressed,” he said.

 

Chief Magistrate Abdulsalam Abubakar on Jan.19 ordered that upon the motion ex-parte moved by one Mr Aminu Abubakar and upon the affidavit deposed to by ASP Ajulo Raphael of (Interpol) Force CID Annex Lagos, Fidelity Bank, First Bank, Eco Bank, Polaris Bank, Wema Bank , Abbey Mortgage Bank, Access Bank, Guaranteed Trust Bank and UBA should furnish the commissioner of police (interpol)of the account details of Toluwani Gideon Olisa and Odupaye Abimbola Joseph.

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