Romance fraud: sixth person charged with €58,000 scam

A sixth person is charged in connection with an alleged €58,000 romance fraud • Man remanded in custody

The people involved in the ring defrauded an elderly woman on the pretence that they were a lonely American soldier deployed in Afghanistan
The people involved in the ring defrauded an elderly woman on the pretence that they were a lonely American soldier deployed in Afghanistan

A sixth person has been arraigned this afternoon in connection with an alleged €58,000 romance fraud.

The individual, Nigerian Tabi Ovi, 34, of Swieqi, was arraigned before Magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo in connection with the scamming of an elderly woman. He told the court that he worked as a taxi driver.

Ovi was charged with money laundering and receiving the proceeds of a crime.

Lawyer Rachel Tua entered a plea of not guilty on the man’s behalf. She informed the court that bail was not being requested at this stage.

The court issued an attachment order over all property and monies pertaining to the accused. He was also prohibited from transferring or disposing of any movable or immovable property.

The man is linked to the same ring of people charged earlier this month that included retired Nigerian footballer Sunday Eboh.

Two weeks ago, in the first case of its kind in Malta, Eboh was charged together with Maltese national Alexandra Pace, Nigerian nationals Collins Eguavoen, Marvis Iyeke and Tony Ogbonna of scamming an elderly woman, who was defrauded by a person pretending to be a lonely American soldier deployed in Afghanistan. The four accused had pleaded not guilty and were remanded in custody.

Inspector Claire Borg and Sarah Zerafa prosecuted, together with lawyers Abigail Caruana Vella, Sean Xerri De Caro and Karl Muscat from the Attorney General’s office.

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