The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested a Lebanese identified as Hamza Koudeih and two others suspected to be accomplices of Dubai-based Nigerian, Ismaila Mustapha popularly known as Mompha.
Koudeih was arrested after a three-hour stand-off at his N1.8 billion luxury apartment in the 33-storey Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was gathered what he and his wife refused opening the door to their apartment and also refused responding to appeals by the building’s chief security officer.
The suspect who alongside Mompha and other arrested suspects are allegedly kingpins of a network of cyber criminals who laundered N33 billion through three firms, lived in an apartment which was fortified with triple reinforced fire-proof door and closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras, making it difficult for the operatives to gain entrance.
However after EFCC operatives gained access into the apartment after trying to break down the door with breaching tools, his wife claimed that her husband had escaped through the window even though they lived in the topmost floor.
Koudeih was found hiding in the ceiling and a fire-proof safe containing different charms and talismans in calabashes was uncovered after a search was conducted in his bedroom.
“Our officials knew that he was still inside and they were even hoping to persuade him not to jump out through the window because it would be suicide,” EFCC Lagos Zonal Head, Mr. Mohammed Rabo, told The Nation.
Two luxury cars were recovered from the suspect who claimed the charms were his “prayer objects”.
Koudeih and his wife’s immigration status are currently being investigated. ;ocal and international law enforcement agencies are said to have indicated interest to collaborate in the investigation.
An update on Mompha’s arrest also revealed that 51 bank accounts he allegedly uses for money laundering has been uncovered. The five wristwatches recovered from him after his arrest on Tuesday October 22, has been found to be worth over N60 million rather than the N20 million earlier thought.
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