65-year old Nigerian grandfather uses Bumble dating app to steal $240700 from love-seeking Swiss woman Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 4, 2021

The story is almost unbelievable but true. At 65, a Nigerian man is using Bumble dating app to reach out to women in search of true love. Only that he’s using it to swindle them.

On Tuesday, the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned Sixty- five year old Igweneme Moses before Justice A. T Mohammed of the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on a four-count charge bordering on conspiracy and money laundering contrary to Section 18 and punishable under Section 15(2) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (As amended).

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Specifically, Moses was docked for defrauding a Swiss, the sum of $240,700 (Two Hundred and Forty Thousand Seven Hundred American Dollars) though several criminal disguises of love and promises of marriage, the EFCC said.

EFCC said in court documents that Igweneme Moses and Igweneme Nkiruka Blessing (now at large) between the 18th and 24th May, 2018 directly took possession of the sum of $38,000 (Thirty Eight Thousand US Dollars) which “they knew or reasonably ought to have known was the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: obtaining money under false pretences from one Chantal Helene Meadery  and thereby committed an offence contrary and punishable under Section 15(2) of the Money Laundering( Prohibition) Act, 2011( as amended)”.

He pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.

In view of his plea, Prosecuting Counsel, A. Osu, prayed the court to fix a date for commencement of trial. However, Counsel to the defendant, C.V Oforleta made an oral application for bail of his client to enable him prepare for his defence. The application was, however,  turned down by the judge who ordered him to place a formal application for bail before the court.

Justice Mohammed ordered that the defendant’s case file be transferred to a vacation judge pending his formal bail application.  He also ordered that he should be remanded in prison custody. 

Troubles started for Moses when the EFCC was petitioned by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on behalf of Switzerland Government, concerning Chantai Helene Maedery, a Swiss that was defrauded by a two- man syndicate comprising Moses and his daughter, Igweneme Nkiruka Blessing (now at large) through  fraudulent  online dating schemes.

The petitioner alleged that the defendant “was involved in the act of fraud for commercial gain (Romance Scam) while pretending to be someone else through a dating app “Bumble.com” as of 19th February, 2018 and promised to marry Chantai Maedery  with the hope of building a future together in Switzerland”.

The petitioner also alleged that Moses and daughter feigned several different emergency situations and various other problems that ensnared Maedery into making a total of sixteen (16) different money transfers amounting to Two Hundred and Forty Thousand, Seven Hundred Dollars ($240,700). 

Investigations showed that the syndicate had also defrauded other foreigners through their fraudulent dating schemes. 

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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