Eight Nigerian men have been sentenced to death in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates(UAE) for a string of robberies at money exchanges and cash machines(ATMs) across the emirate in December 2016.
The ninth Nigerian, found guilty for possession of stolen money was sentenced to six months imprisonment.
He will be deported after serving his prison term.
The Gulf News reported that the Nigerian denied the charge against him and said that one of the accused’s brothers asked him to transfer Dh60,000 to an account in Nigeria.
All the convicted Nigerians were not identified by both the Gulf News and Khaleej Times, all local newspapers, which reported the trial.
A total of 20 suspects were initially held for attacking security guards in four violent attacks at ATMs and money exchanges across Sharjah in late 2016. Out of 20 suspects, nine were convicted.
Some of the accused confessed to their crimes while others denied the charges levelled against them.
The verdict was handed down by Judge Majid Al Muhairi of Sharjah Criminal Court on Wednesday.
The eight-member gang attacked security trucks and entered establishments by force and threatened and assaulted staff and members of the public with bladed weapons in a spate of robberies, three of which were carried out on the same day on December 18, 2016.
The gang — who were all in the UAE on visit visas — were said to be highly organised and plotted a string of orchestrated attacks to ambush security trucks that were transporting money boxes to and from ATMs, and at least one money exchange in Sharjah.
The first robbery took place at a Dubai Commercial Bank ATM on King Abdul Aziz Street where Dh340,000 was stolen, then two days later they attacked an ATM in Al Safeer Mall in Al Nahda fleeing with Dh700,000, and an ATM in Muweilah where they stole Dh710,000. A fourth attack at a money exchange office near National Paints was foiled by police.
The gang of 20 was arrested in record time but police confirmed that only a portion of the stolen money — almost Dh1.8 million — had been recovered, as the gang members had divided the money among themselves and transferred it to their home country.
Suspects were taken into custody in cooperation with police in Dubai, Ajman and Fujairah.
The gang committed the heists at the busiest times of day when streets were crowded, which added to the confusion and enabled them to escape, said police.
In each robbery the assailants struck quickly before police could arrive, the attackers however could not evade security cameras and police were able to recognise the suspects through surveillance footage captured at the exchange house in the mall.
Video footage showed the suspects attacking security guards, making off with cash, and in one of the robberies slashing the hands of a security guard with a knife before running away with money boxes.
Police believe the suspects had monitored and tracked the security trucks used to transport money for a period of time before launching the attacks took place.
A prosecutor told Gulf News on Thursday that as per the law, a group of people who threaten the life of others while committing robbery are subject to the death sentence, however an appeal is expected to be launched and the sentences could get downgraded to life imprisonment.
The trial appeared unconnected with the arrest of five Nigerians in March this year, who robbed a Bureau de Change operator of Dh2.3 million (N225.4 million) in Sharjai, Dubai.
The suspects were identified as Chimuanya Emmanuel Ozoh, Benjamin Nwachukwu Ajah, Kingsley Ikenna Ngoka, Tochukwu Leonard Alisi and Chile Micah Ndunagu.
The five Nigerians reportedly barged into the BDC on March 20 and smashed the glass barrier between the customers and the staff, stole the money in multiple currencies and fled.
Two employees at the exchange were injured as they resisted the robbers. One of them managed to notify the police. The Sharjah Police coordinated with forces from Abu Dhabi, Ras Al Khaimah and Ajman to nab the suspects from four emirates within 48 hours after the robbery was committed.
A top police official said the suspects came to the UAE on visit visas on March 18.
In Early Days of Christianity Nobody was called Pastor — Reno Omokri
Reno Omokri has thrown more light on why he insists nobody should replace his/her parents with a Pastor in the church.
The ex spokesperson to former President, Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday said that in early days of Christianity nobody was called Daddy, Pastor and Bishop.
He said that everyone in the church was called ‘Brother’. He urged all who might not believe him to listen to Jesus, and he quotes, “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for all of you are EQUAL as brothers”-Matthew 23:8.”
In the early days of Christianity, NOBODY was called DADDY, PASTOR, or BISHOP. Everyone in Christ was just called 'BROTHER'. You don’t believe me? Listen to Jesus “Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for all of you are EQUAL as brothers"-Matthew 23:8 #FreeLeahSharibu #RenosNuggets pic.twitter.com/t1I2bdhbJv
— Reno Omokri (@renoomokri) May 25, 2019
Corps Member, Graduate, Two Others Jailed For Internet Fraud
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibadan zonal office, on Thursday May 23, 2019 secured the conviction of four internet fraudsters.
Three of the convicts – Alimi Azeez Oluwadamilare, Paul Opeyemi Omotunde and Igberase Hope Odianosen – were tried in the Federal High Court, Abeokuta Division, while the other, Okuneye Opeyemi James, got the reward for his criminal act at the Ibadan Division of the court.
Alimi, a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), and Omotunde, a 2019 graduate from the Federal University of Agriculture (FUNAAB), were convicted and sentenced to four months in prison by Justice Ibrahim Watilat of Federal High Court 1, Abeokuta.
Also in Abeokuta, Justice Mohammed Abubarkar of Court 2 jailed Igberase for four months.
The trio were re-arraigned on a one-count amended charge of criminal impersonation, contrary to Section 22 (2)(b)(iv) of the Cyber Crime Prohibition Prevention Act, 2015 and punishable under the same Act.
The fresh arraignments were sequel to the plea bargain arrangements between them and the EFCC which reduced the number of charges in the initial charge sheets to one.
Besides sending them to jail, the presiding judges also ordered that they refund sums of money in United States Dollars to their respective victims as restitution.
All items recovered from them during their interrogation are equally to be forfeited to the Federal Government.
In the same vein, Justice Patricia Ajoku of the Federal High Court, Ibadan sentenced Okunoye Opeyemi James (a.k.a. James Kosta) to four months in prison.
The 24-year-old was facing a one-count amended charge bordering on fraudulent impersonation contrary to Section 22 (2)(b)(iv) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention Etc) Act, 2015.
He was arrested for internet-related offences on April 11 by officers of the Nigeria Police Force who later handed him over to the Ibadan zonal office of the EFCC for further investigation.
Investigations by the Commission revealed that the convict’s modus operandi was to illegally hack into people’s accounts to gain unrestricted access to vital and sensitive information, and covert same to fraudulent use.
He eventually pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of criminal impersonation preferred against him on Thursday. He was accordingly convicted and sentenced by the presiding judge.
The court also ordered the convict to make restitution of the sum of N889,995 (Eight Hundred and Eighty-Nine Thousand, Nine Hundred and Ninety-Five Naira), being benefit he derived from his fraudulent act.
He is similarly to forfeit one Iphone 7, and one Huawei handset to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Author of ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ dies at 95
The Tiger Who Came To Tea author Judith Kerr has died at the age of 95, her publisher HarperCollins has said.
The legendary author and illustrator, who was awarded an OBE, stole the hearts of generations of children with her iconic book, among other classics.
She died at her home in Barnes, South West London yesterday following a short illness, the publisher said.
Tributes are pouring in for the charming grandmother who put a smile on millions of faces and had a “astonishing zest for life”.
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