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NDLEA freezes N20bn in businessman’s 103 bank account

THE National Drug Law Enforcement Agency has seized N20bn lodged in 103 bank accounts belonging to Lagos socialite and businessman, Mallinson Ukatu, who is being held in Ikoyi Custodial Centre for drug dealing.

The socialite and his six businesses—Fruitroprics Industries Limited, Mallinson and Partners Limited, NISPO Porcelain Company Limited, MBL Multi-links Services Limited, NISPO Oil and Gas Limited, and Urban Space Services Limited—have also been the subject of a 23-count complaint brought by the NDLEA before the Federal High Court of Abuja.

The Director of Prosecution and Legal Services, J. Sunday, J. Obi, Bridget Viasimah, J. Aernan, and the Prosecution Counsel, Mike Kassa, on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation, signed the charges dated August 4, 2022.

Earlier, the drug enforcement agency was able to temporarily seize 25 properties that belonged to Ukatu, who was detained for allegedly bringing in tramadol worth N3 billion.

According to reports, the billionaire converted N123.8 million, which is considered to be the proceeds of an illegal act and is punishable under sections 15(3) and (4) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act of 2011 ( as amended)., illegally using Fruitropics Industries Limited’s UBA’s account no. 1006588563 .

The first defendant was also accused of using Mallinson and Partners Limited’s UBA account number, 1001228653, between January 1, 2018, and September 23, 2021, to convert N1.447 billion, which was a crime’s proceeds, in violation of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011. (as amended).

Count six read, “That you, Ukatu Mallinson, male, adult and Mallinson & Partners Limited, a corporate body registered in Nigeria, between July 25, 2017 and October 14, 2021 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court using Mallinson & Partners Limited’s Access Bank account no. 0004974284 converted the sum of $347, 755 knowingly or reasonably ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended).”

The drug agency further accused the businessman of using Multi-Links Service Limited’s Access Bank account no. 0720857089 to convert N52.4m between January 1, 2017 and October 14, 2021.

Count 13 read, “That you, Ukatu Mallinson, male, adult and Mallinson & Partners Limited, a corporate body registered in Nigeria, between January 2, 2019 and October 14, 2021 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court using Mallinson & Partners Limited’s Access Bank Plc account no. 0006750241 converted the sum of N10.875bn knowingly or reasonably ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(b) and punishable under Section 15(3) and (4) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended).’’

Additionally, it was stated that between January 7, 2018, and October 14, 2021, the accused converted N7.201 billion using Access Bank Plc’s account number 0006744778, which was run by Mallinson and Partners, in violation of money laundering regulations.

The FG further claimed that the first defendant used the Mallinson and Partners Limited account number 0021354930 at Access Bank to launder $643, 024.67 and this was said to have taken place between February 6, 2019, and October 14, 2021.

The businessman was also charged with laundering $260,268.25 from NISPO Porcelain Company Limited’s, Access Banks account number 0076058733 at between January 1, 2017, and October 14, 2021.

The prosecutor further disclosed that between January 2, 2019 and October 14, 2021, Ukatu laundered N895.6m 727.49 in Access Bank account no. 0053720969 run by Mallinson & Partners Limited

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