Connect with us

Society

FAKE NIGERIAN PRINCE JAILED FOR 7 YEARS FOR FRAUD IN UK

Published

on

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.

bala 2

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.

bala 3

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Society

Despite his “expulsion”, ADC presidential candidate, Kachikwu, makes INEC list

Published

on

Mr Kachikwu was expelled from the party last Friday by the Ralph Nwosu-led NWC.

The embattled presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Dumebi Kachikwu, has been named among candidates validly nominated by political parties for the 2023 presidential election despite his “expulsion” from the party.

Mr Kachikwu was among the 18 presidential candidates approved by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday.

The Ralph Nwosu-led National Working Committee (NWC) of the party announced the expulsion of Mr Kachikwu from the party last Friday for alleged anti-party activities.

He was expelled along with seven other key party leaders following the recommendation of a seven-member disciplinary committee earlier set up by the ADC NWC. The NWC had earlier on 2 September placed the presidential candidate on suspension.

Mr Nwosu, in a statement issued late Friday, said the disciplinary committee found Mr Kachikwu guilty of allegations of gross misconduct, and gross violations of its constitution, among others.

But in its reaction the following day, the interim leadership of the ADC dismissed Mr Kachikwu’s purported expulsion.

The interim National Chairman of the Party, Patricia Akwashiki, in a statement, described the action of the erstwhile chairman, Mr Nwosu, as the antics of a sinking man clutching at straws.

The crisis rocking the ADC has its genesis in the call for the resignation of the national chairman by 27 state chairmen of the party, having spent 17 years in the office.

At the time of filing this report, we could not confirm if the party’s leadership had made formal or legal requests to the commission to remove the candidate from the list.

Continue Reading

Society

Stella Obasanjo’s brother, John Abebe, arraigned for fraud

Published

on

Dr. John Abebe, the younger brother of a former First Lady, Stella Obasanjo, was on Monday arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday before the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja over allegations of fraud.

Abebe was arraigned alongside a former Head of Firstbank Plc, United Kingdom Correspondent Office, Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, before Justice Olubunmi Abike-Fadipe on six charges of conspiracy, stealing, and obtaining money under pretence.

Part of the counts against the defendants read: “That you, Dr. John Abebe and Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, on or about the 4th day of June 2013 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; stealing the sum of N120 million worth of property of Arsenal Technologies Limited.”

“That you, Dr. John Abebe and Kamoru Alade Oladimeji, on or about the 4th day of June 2013, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit felony to wit; obtaining by false pretence the sum of N120 million property of Arsenal Technologies Limited under the pretence that your property lying being and situate at 9, Magbon Close, Ikoyi-Lagos State, which you pledged as the security to the Arsenal Technologies Limited was unencumbered, which representation you knew to be false.”

“That you Dr. John Abebe and Inducon Nigeria Limited, on or about the 4th day of June 2013, in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, with intent to defraud and to gain for yourself the sum of $1,000,000.00 or its Naira equivalent from Arsenal Technologies Limited by false pretence to procure the execution of valuable security to wit; a deed of assignment between Inducon Nigeria Limited and Arsenal Technologies Limited, wherein you falsely claimed that the property lying being and situate at No. 9, Magbon Close, Ikoyi-Lagos was unencumbered and that you have full powers to assign and transfer the said property to the assignor; Arsenal Technologies Limited.

According to EFCC, the offences committed are contrary to Sections 280(1), (12), 8 (7), 285(1) and 278(1)(b) of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following their plea, the prosecutor, Sulaimon urged the court to fix a trial date and to remand the defendants in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services until the hearing and determination of the charge.

However, the defense counsel, Anthony Popo and Sam Etaifo urged the court to grant their clients bail in the most liberal terms.

While moving the bail application on behalf of Abebe, Popo told the judge that the matter before her is a commercial transaction between the first defendant and the nominal complainant, which he is ready to settle out of court.

He also claimed that Abebe had paid back the sums of $100,000 and N30 million to the complainant and had also deposited the title document of 26 acres of land and the documents of a property in London to show his seriousness to resolve the matter.

The lawyer further submitted that the defendant would not jump bail since he never violated the terms of the administrative bail granted to him by the EFCC.

The prosecutor did not oppose the application but urged the court to impose stringent terms that will ensure the defendant’s appearance in court for their trial.

In her ruling, Justice Abike-Fadipe granted the first defendant bail in the sum of N20 million with one surety in like sum.

She directed that the surety must be a resident of Lagos and must deposit the title document of a land property whose value must not be less than N20m

The judge also admitted the second defendant to bail in the sum of N10m with one surety in like sum, who must be a resident of the state.

Justice Abike-Fadipe further ordered that the defendant shall continue to enjoy the administrative bail earlier granted to them by the EFCC but if they failed after seven days to perfect the terms of the bail she granted them, they shall be arrested and remanded in prison.

She adjourned the case to December 6 for commencement of trial.

Continue Reading

Society

HIGHGARDEN CELEBRATES WORLD CLEANUP DAY

Published

on

 

The Eleko Beach stretching over 5km was cleaned on the 17th of September 2022 by Volunteers from HighGarden Private Beach Club to celebrate the world Cleanup day.

World Cleanup Day is an annual global social action program aimed at combating the global solid waste problem, including the problem of marine debris. It is coordinated by the global organization Let’s Do It! World.

 

According to the MD of Highgarden Mr Wale Ewedemi “Environmental cleanliness and awareness is key to our values as a lifestyle brand, so we use the world Cleanup day to indoctrinate our customers and friends into one of our core lifestyle values”

 

The event that started at 9am rounded up about noon. Plastics and debri Collected were separated and marked for pickup.

 

The HighGarden Private Beach Club in Eleko boast of the first Glamping site in Nigeria.

@highgardenprivatebeach

Continue Reading

Trending