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Two Nigerian-born American businessmen are going to prison after their company facilitated ‘controversial’ remittances of up to $160 million to Nigeria

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  • The businessmen, Anslem Oshionebo and Opeyemi Odeyale, pleaded guilty to the charges brought against them by the US Department of Justice.
  • The fintech firm they operated, Ping Express US LLC, facilitated the remittance of $160 million to Nigeria.
  • Some of the funds are said to be proceeds of romance scams.
  • The Founders of Texas-based fintech firm Ping Express US LLC, Anslem Oshionebo and Opeyemi Odeyale, have pleaded guilty for failing to combat money laundering on their platform.

A statement by the US Department of Justice explained that the businessmen failed to maintain anti-money laundering controls on their platform; a situation that allowed some of their customers to remit large sums of illegally-derived funds to Nigeria.

“The company outlined its anti-money laundering policy in a memo to state regulators, claiming it would cap first-time customer transactions at $499, cap daily transactions at $3,000, and cap monthly transactions at $4,500. However, in plea papers, the company admitted it allowed more than 1,500 customers to violate these rules. In one instance, Ping allowed a customer to remit more than $80,000 in a single month – more than 17 times the purported limit,” said a part of the statement.

The DoJ further disclosed that the company was guilty of conducting money transmission services in some US states where it was not licensed to operate.

Within a 3-year period, Ping Express US LLC helped customers to remit a total of $167 million to Africa. Out of this sum, $160 million was remitted to Nigeria. And the company was said to have failed to verify the sources of the funds or what they were intended for.

Interestingly, some of the company’s customers have already been tried and found guilty of illegally transmitting funds they earned through romance scams. Two of these three individuals were among the fintech’s top customers. One of the customers, Collins Orogun, pleaded guilty and admitted he accepted fees to help romance scam fraudsters to transfer money from the US to Nigeria through Ping Express US LLC.

“In two years, Mr. Orogun received more than $1.3 million in cash, cashier’s checks, and wires into several U.S. bank accounts he controlled, and then quickly moved more than $1 million of the funds to Africa through Ping. He faces up to 20 years in federal prison and is set to be sentenced on Jan. 23, 2023,” part of the statement said.

Anslem Oshionebo and Opeyemi Odeyale, who both served as Ping’s CEO and COO, have been sentenced to 27 months in prison. The company’s Head of IT and Business Development Manager, Aleoghena Okhumale, also pleaded guilty to knowingly facilitating illegal remittance of fraudulently derived funds.

Meanwhile the fintech company itself is facing a 5-year probation as well as $500,000 fine.

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WHY IS ODUNMBAKU BABA ETO’S NAME ON EVERY LIP? 

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By Sesan Lamuye – A Political Analyst

 

Cardinal James Omolaja Odunmbaku, the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) cleric and political engineer, is one of a kind who stands in a unique class of his own.

 

His types don’t happen too commonly. Infact, in our clime, he is a rarity, to have one person clothed in celestial and terrestial robes so fittingly.

Only few of his peers can honestly say they don’t envy his sartorial elegance whenever he appears in his ecumenical garments. And when he sheds that, to adorn the political regalia, he’s also a people’s delight.

 

Few of his type readily come to mind anywhere – in Africa or in any continent. I think of Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa and, elegantly speaking, Archbishop Makarios of Cyprus who ruled from both the pulpit and the polity in his life time.

 

Odunmbaku, better known as “Baba Eto”, is a mortal, but given the extraordinary gift of the garb and demonstrable style that is uniquely his own, he’s fast assuming the status of an indispensable human specie.

 

His type acquire larger than life status that is bound to attract positivity and negativity.

Those who are enamoured of him present to the world a cult-like image of him. To them, he can do no wrong. One such person, before the satanic instinct in man, reared its ugly head in him, was so fanatical of the man, Eto, he registered some of his personal vehicles “Aremo”, for which he used to tell those who cared to know, that he was “heir-apparent” to Eto. Today, that person is singing new tunes, as if his new listeners cannot decipher sychophancy and crass opportunism in his new drumbeats.

 

Another was said to have appeared at a political interview panel where, when asked what credentials she had to seek a position, she matter-of-factly told the panelists “Eto”. And when repeatedly asked what qualifications did she have to think she was fit for the job, she retorted: ” Eto ! Eto !! Eto !!!

That secured the job for her !

 

Such a person is bound to attract envy, jealousy and disdain, dislike, or even hatred to himself. That is the fate of Baba Eto !

 

There must be something extra going for the “priestly-politico” that the talent-discoverer, otherwise known as Bola Ahmed Tinubu, identified him to drive his gubernatorial campaign in Lagos State; and has ever since held on to him so fanatically that he has solely led the campaign of other guber candidates like Babatunde Raji Fashola, Akunwunmi Ambode and Babajide Sanwoolu to roaring successes.

 

If beneficiaries of Baba Eto’s gifts turn round to paint scurrilous pictures of the man, such people can only be consigned to the dustbin in which immortal Chief Obafemi Awolowo put those he described as ingrates of his large-ness of heart. As the late sage declared: ” There’s no escape for those who deny benefits”

 

Let the person without any blemish come out and cast the first stone. If we put aside belly-aching, jealousy and such-like vices, you cannot encounter Odunmbaku, Baba Eto, on the pulpit or the political rostrum and not doff your hats for this quintessential orator, mobiliser and professor of political mobilisation.

 

If some see him negatively from the positive binoculars with which Tinubu and many more view Baba Eto, then such minority must be wearing blurry blinkers in their faces.

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Society

Just In: Bobrisky Sentenced To 6-Month Jail Term Without Option Of Fine Over Naira Abuse

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Instagram crossdresser, Idris Okuneye popularly know as Bobrisky has been sentenced to 6-month jail term by Justice A.O Awogboro of the Federal high court, Ikoyi.

 

It was earlier reported that Bobrisky was Arraigned and charged to court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for abuse of the Naira note.

 

 

 

More details to come …..

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Society

Oando Boss Wale Tinubu Showers Encomium on Dangote @67

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‘Celebrate true friends. They are a part of you that always sparkle’  – Amy Leigh Mercree

The English-born actress may have had the boss of Oando Group, Jubril Adewale Tinubu in mind when she made this quote.

Truly, the trained lawyer never forgets to celebrate and appreciate his good friends whenever it is necessary. In fact, he is one gentleman who values and understands the definition of true friendship.

This played out yesterday, Wednesday, April 10, 2024, when he showered praises on his friend of many years, Africa’s richest man  and Chairman of Aliko Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, when he clocked 67.

In celebration of Dangote, the oil and gas top player wrote:

“Happy Birthday to a visionary and accomplished entrepreneur whose impact continues to reverberate across Africa and beyond.

I hope your day has been filled with joy, laughter, and limitless blessings. May the world continue to recognise and applaud your remarkable achievements.

As you enter a new year, my prayer is that your commitment to building Africa never waivers but now and again you stop to appreciate the phenomenal difference you have made to the capacity of indigenous entrepreneurship on the global stage.

Wish you many more years in good health.

Dangote, a name that means so many things to many people. But what no one can deny is the fact that the name is essentially synonymous with success.

Since he made his mark in the nation’s business sector, many years ago, he has risen to become a glittering star in the business firmament.

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