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Lagos Yahoo boy Karinate begs court for mercy, escapes jail

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Lagos Yahoo boy Karinate begs court for mercy, escapes jail

Lagos crypto trader, Lawrence Karinate: escapes jail after he pleaded guilty to engaging in a pig-butchering scam from which he realised $2000.

Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun

A Lagos-based peer-to-peer, P2P, crypto trader, Lawrence Success Karinate has escaped jail after he pleaded guilty to engaging in a pig-butchering scam from which he realised $2000.

He was arraigned before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Friday, October 6, 2023 and he was convicted of the crime the same day after he pleaded guilty.

While announcing the conviction of the suspect in a statement, EFCC said Pig butchering scam is a type of fraud in which criminals lure victims into digital relationships to build trust before convincing them to invest in cryptocurrency platforms.

According to the statement, Karinate who was arrested alongside others, in the Lekki area of Lagos State on May 26, 2023 had fraudulently presented himself on social media platforms, as a female, bearing the name “Jessie Randall”, a fashion influencer to carry out the fraud.

Karinate was prosecuted by the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC, on a one-count charge bordering on cybercrimes, an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 22(2)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition etc.) Act, 2015.

He pleaded “guilty” to the one-count charge preferred against him.

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Following his guilty plea, counsel to the EFCC, Usman Abubakar Ahmad, called a witness, Taiwo Owolabi, an operative of the EFCC,to review the facts of the matter. Owolabi said the defendant, alongside others, was arrested in the Lekki area of Lagos State on May 26, 2023.

“Upon his arrest, he was brought to the EFCC office, where his iPhone and HP computer were analyzed. Fraudulent documents were printed out from his devices, and he made restitution to the tune of N100,000. ( One Hundred Thousand Naira). He was further interrogated and admitted to having engaged in a pig-butchering scam and benefitted the sum of $2000 (Two Thousand United States Dollars) from it.

Usman, therefore, applied to tender, in evidence, the defendant’s extra-judicial statement, fraudulent documents printed out from his iPhone, and laptop computer as well as the management cheque issued by him. Justice Oweibo admitted them as exhibits A, B, C and C1, D and E respectively and convicted him as charged.

However, Karinate expressed regret for his involvement in the criminal activity and assured the court that he would never engage in internet fraud again.

His counsel, Chikezie Kingsley also prayed the court for mercy, stressing that the defendant was a first-term offender

In his judgment, Justice Oweibo sentenced him to a fine of N200,000( Two Hundred Thousand Naira).

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