Scam accused to be extradited to US

Published Feb 21, 2024


The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) believes the court outcome confirming that alleged members of the Black Axe syndicate were liable for extradition to the US to face the charges against them, will go a long way in ensuring justice for victims of the crimes committed.

The Cape Town Magistrate’s Court also found there was sufficient evidence to warrant their prosecution.

Perry Osagiede, Enorense Izevbiege, Franklin Edosa Osagiede, Osariemen Eric Clement, Collins Owhofasa Otughwor, Musa Mudashiru, Prince Ibeabuchi Mark and Toritseju Gabriel Otubu were arrested and charged with wire fraud conspiracy in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section (s)1349; wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section (s) 1343 and 2, money laundering conspiracy in violation of Title, United States Code Section(s) 1956(h) and aggravated identity theft in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section(s) 1028A and 2.

Judgment against Toritseju Gabriel Otubu, who applied for his extradition enquiry to be separated from his co-accused, is expected to be delivered on April 12.

According to the State, the group working as a collective, would contact potential victims by email or reach out to them on social media, including online dating websites.

“Using false identities and representations, the respondents and their co-perpetrators would convince victims they were in romantic relationships with the online person as they fabricated, which often purport to be engineers and managers working on a project in South Africa.

“The respondents would then sway their victims to send money directly or to permit others to send money through their financial accounts, to South Africa,” said NPA spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila.

He said the State managed to prove its case for extradition of the accused beyond any reasonable doubt.

Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Nicolette Bell, hailed the prosecutors for their commitment “under trying conditions at times” to ensure that the extradition had a satisfactory conclusion.

Cape Times