Court orders provisional confiscation of luxury watches from Mompha, others – Channels Television
A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has granted an interim confiscation order of 11 high-end designer items confiscated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from internet celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, known as Mompha.
The items – five luxury sunglasses, five luxury wristwatches and an iPhone 8 – were seized from Mompha during his arrest by the EFCC on October 19, 2019 at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.
The Dsquared, Tomford – TF586, Cartier – B17C76B, Montblanc – MB0045S and Louis Vuitton- Z1186E glasses, while the watches are Rolex Oyster Perpetual, Audemars Piguet, Audemars Piguet – J46220; XY Hublot – 1321920; and an XY Hublot-924206.
Judge Lewis Allagoa granted the interim confiscation order on Friday after hearing an ex parte claim argued by EFCC lawyer Chinenye Ugwoke.
It ruled that the order stood pending the EFCC’s investigation into Mompha and his company Ismalob Global Investment Ltd, both named as defendants in the lawsuit.
Since November 2019, Mompha and Ismalob Global Investment have faced 14 charges related to allegations of money laundering of 32.9 billion naira.
The EFCC supported its request for an affidavit from an investigator from the Advance Fee Fraud Section (AFF) of the anti-corruption agency, Mr. Bot Dachung.
“The purpose of this request is to prevent the respondents from tempering and / or dissipating the properties listed in the appendix to this request which are reasonably suspected of being the product of illegal activity,” said Dachung.
“If the properties listed in the appendix to this application are not temporarily and temporarily confiscated, the efforts of the ongoing investigation into internet / cyber crimes and possible prosecutions would be nullified.”
The EFCC told the judge that the objects were “found in the possession of the first defendant (Mompha), which property / asset is reasonably suspected to be the product of illegal activities and currently in the legal custody of the plaintiff”.
According to the agency, a preliminary investigation uncovered various intelligence reports linking Mompha to chains of Internet / cybercrime activities.
He further alleged that “there had been ongoing concerted investigative activities against the Respondents in relation to the (alleged) involvement of the First Respondent in cybercrime activities”.
“The properties listed in the appendix to this request were recovered from the first defendant upon his arrest by the plaintiff’s agents, hence this request.
“That efforts and attempts have been made by the first defendant through its legal representatives to recover the said properties listed in the annex to this request,” said the EFCC.