Thursday, 18 January 2018

Oil Subsidy Fraud: Nigerian Billionaire, Walter Wagbatsoma Jailed In UK

Walter Wagbatsoma, chairman, Ontario Oil & Gas Limited who was sentenced to 10 years following his prosecution by EFCC for N754million oil subsidy fraud, has been convicted by Leicester Crown Court in UK for money laundering.

Following a trial at Leicester Crown Court a thirteenth defendant has been convicted of conspiracy to launder money in an international fraud and money laundering investigation. .

This investigation was conducted by Lincolnshire Police Economic Crime Unit under Operation Tarlac, in which over £12m was defrauded from public bodies including hospital trusts, housing associations and councils around the UK. .

Walter Wagbatsoma, 47, was originally detained on a European Arrest Warrant in June 2016 whilst travelling through Germany. He was extradited soon afterwards and charged with conspiring with others to launder the proceeds of fraud through his business interests in the UK. 

The Nigerian businessman was yesterday sentenced to 3 years and 6 months imprisonment for his part in the crime, he was also disqualified from being a company director for 6 years. .

Fraudulently obtained funds in the UK were laundered through an account in Dubai under the control of a co-conspirator Oluwatoyin Allison, a Nigerian who was convicted in his absence at an earlier trial in April 2017 and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. .

The funds were then transferred to Wagbatsoma’s account in the UK. Wagbatsoma, an oil and gas businessman, was on trial in Nigeria at the time of his arrest for his part in a £1.9 billion oil subsidy fraud for which he was convicted and sentenced in his absence to 10-years imprisonment in January 2017.

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