Nigerian national, Uche Raymond Okoye also known as ‘Uche Parker’ who is currently facing several fraud-related charges at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts has been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
On November 3, last, Magistrate Annette Singh found Okoye guilty on 10 counts of obtaining money by false pretense committed on a 65-year-old woman. A Police report said that the man was sentenced to one year imprisonment on each of the charges on Friday.
The report, however, did not indicate whether the sentences will run concurrently or consecutively. According to the Police report, during a sentencing hearing on Friday, Okoye agreed to repay the elderly woman some of the money he scammed her of.
Okoye, according to the prosecution, preyed on the elderly woman via Whatsapp and Facebook by falsely claiming that he had a package intended for her. The prosecutor told the court that he lied to the gullible woman that the package included money and other valuables and caused her to transfer monies from her bank account to other local accounts 10 times as she believed that he indeed had a package for her.
The elderly woman testified that during October and November 2020, she transferred her life savings totaling a little over $6 million to different accounts of persons unknown to her on Okoye’s instructions.
She testified that she was a vendor all her life and believed that the person she met on Facebook did indeed send a package with money. Persons also testified that monies were sent to their accounts and that they received a percentage after withdrawing the said deposits.
The Nigerian man is suspected to be part of a criminal network involving other Nigerian nationals who collaborate with other associates to solicit cash from their victims by promising high valued merchandise to be delivered following the payment of a charge or fee.
Okoye was charged on February 24, with obtaining money by false pretense contrary to Section 194 of the Criminal Law (Offences) Act. Similar matters are pending against him. The charges were filed by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU)- an arm of the Police Force.
The matters are being prosecuted by Attorney-at-Law Tuanna Hardy while Okoye was represented by lawyer, Melvin Duke. The Police Force is urging persons not to send money to persons they meet online.