Businessman wanted to smuggle $200,000 into Dubai — now he’s lost it all

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has ordered the forfeiture of $200,000 recovered in February 2013 by the EFCC from one Moghalu Maduakonam, a businessman.

Maduakonam was arrested while attempting to board an Ethiopian Airlines flight from Nigeria to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with the money, which he failed to disclose to the appropriate authorities.

The law provides that anybody travelling outside the country with a sum above $10,000 must declare it to EFCC operatives.

Maduakonam was arraigned on a one-count charge of money laundering, according to relevant sections of the Foreign Exchange and Money Laundering Acts.

The judgment had been prepared by Justice A. A. Ademola in December 2017, but was delivered on Thursday by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.

It stated that the prosecution had proven its case against the defendant beyond reasonable doubts.

“I have no difficulty in convicting the defendant on the count preferred against him,” the judge said.

Babara Amosu, counsel to the accused person, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy since his client was a first-time offender and had admitted to his mistake earlier in the trial.

However, M. E. Eimonye, counsel to the EFCC, asked the court to apply the full weight of the law because the offence was “intentional”.

Eimonye argued that the defendant was fully aware of the consequences of his actions, as that was not his first time of travelling to Dubai.

Subsequently, Justice Ojukwu ordered that the $200,000 be forfeited to the the Federal Government.

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