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Famous Fraudster | Meet Emmanuel Nwube – Biggest Nigerian Fraudster

Famous Fraudster | Meet Emmanuel Nwube – Biggest Nigerian Fraudster

Famous Fraudster | Meet Emmanuel Nwube – Biggest Nigerian Fraudster

Emmanuel Nwude is a Nigerian advance-fee fraud artist. He is known for defrauding Nelson Sakaguchi, a Director at Brazil’s Banco Noroeste based in São Paulo, of $242 million, $191 million in cash and the remainder in the form of outstanding interest, between 1995 and 1998.

His accomplices were Emmanuel Ofolue, Nzeribe Okoli, and Obum Osakwe, along with the husband and wife duo, Christian Ikechukwu Anajemba and Amaka Anajemba, with Christian later being assassinated. After Nick Leeson’s trading losses at Barings Bank, and the looting of the Iraqi Central Bank by Qusay Hussein, the crime was the third largest in banking history.

After a large-scale attack on a town in Nigeria in August 2016, Nwude was alleged to be a ringleader and was arrested on murder charges. He remains in custody.

Nwude was a former director of Union Bank of Nigeria and this position made him privy to some links, information and documents that other persons would not be aware of. He impersonated the then governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Paul Ogwuma, and connected with Sakaguchi enticing him with a mouth-watering deal of Nigeria’s plan to build an airport in Abuja.

Nwude impersonated Paul Ogwuma, then Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, and successfully convinced Sakaguchi to “invest” in a new airport in the nation’s capital, Abuja, in exchange for a $10 million commission. In August 1997, the Spanish Banco Santander wanted to take over the Banco Noroeste Brazil.

The fraud was uncovered after a December 1997 joint board meeting, in which an official from Santander inquired about why a large sum of money, two-fifths of Noroeste’s total value and half of their capital, was sitting in the Cayman Islands unmonitored. This led to criminal investigations in Brazil, Britain, Nigeria, Switzerland, and the United States.

To guarantee the sale to Santander, the Simonsen and Cochrane families, the owners of Banco Noroeste, paid the $242 million bill themselves. However, Banco Noroeste collapsed in 2001.

In February 2004, Amaka Anajemba, Emmanuel Nwude, Emmanuel Ofolue, Nzeribe Okoli, and Obum Osakwe, with Christian Anajemba deceased at this point, were all arrested and charged in the Abuja High Court with 86 counts of “fraudulently seeking advance fees” and 15 counts of bribery related to the case.

Meanwhile, EFCC Closes On 6 Suspected Internet Fraudsters in Port Harcourt

They pleaded not guilty. They were immediately warned off of bribing the court staff by Abuja High Court Judge Lawal Gumi, after he alleged that money was going around. The defense team assured that “nothing would be done to bring scandal to the administration of justice.”

This came after the establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission by the Nigerian Parliament at the request of the then president Olusegun Obasanjo.

The town of Ukpo in the Dunukofia area was attacked by over 200 people, apparently due to a land dispute with the neighboring Abagana community killing four policemen and the security guard at the construction site in August 19, 2016.

He is being held at Awka prison as the court case is still on.
While Nwude’s criminal exploit was not the first in the country, it signified the rise in international financial crime and popularise the advanced fee fraud syndrome with Nigeria’s name associated with it.

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