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Nigerian Faces 149 Count Fraud Charge In New York

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The penchant for quick money by most young Nigerians in the diaspora has now taken another dimension, as most of them now use their wealth of academic wherewithal to wreck havoc on the lives of their unsuspecting victims by defrauding them without recourse to conscience whether they are right in such atrocious act.
It is appalling to see that as anti graft agents in Nigeria (EFCC and ICPC) are working to quell corrupt practices and economic crimes right here in Nigeria, some Nigerians in the diaspora are still neck-deep in corruption and mudslinging the image of Nigeria for self aggrandizement.
Adeniyi Adeyemi, 27, of Brooklyn has been summarily made to face 149 counts, including grand larceny and identity theft. He used his job as a computer technician to appropriate the identities of more than 150 employees at the Bank of New York Mellon and stole more than $1.1 million from a wide array of nonprofit groups and other institutions, said recently. The technician of Crown Heights, was charged with grand larceny, identity theft, money laundering, scheme to defraud, computer tampering and unlawful possession of personal identification information in a indictment.
The149-count checks revealed that the fraud started in November 2001 and lasted through April of this year, according to the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, which is prosecuting the case. Using his position as a contract employee in the information technology department at Bank of New York Mellon, Mr. Adeyemi stole personal identifying information from dozens of employees, using the information to more than 30 bank and brokerage accounts in their names at E*Trade, Fidelity, Citi, Wachovia and Washington Mutual, Mr. Morgenthau said.
Mr. Adeyemi then diverted money from the bank accounts of charities, transferred the funds to the dummy accounts, and later withdrew the money or funneled it into a second layer of “dummy accounts,” Mr. Morgenthau said.
Among the charities Mr. Adeyemi is said to have stolen from are Goodwill Industries, Iris Ministries, the Kalgidhar Trust, the Sudanese American Community Development Organization, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, the American Community School at Beirut, the Jacksonville Humane Society, American Friends of Birdlife International, the International Association of Women Judges, the Space Generation Advisory Council, and the American Association for Clinical Chemistry.
Mr. Adeyemi is also alleged to have bought more than $100,000 in money orders from the Postal Service using funds stolen from the employees whose information he took. The New York/New Jersey Electronic Crimes Task Force of the United States Secret Service began surveillance on Mr. Adeyemi after tracing suspicious Internet activity to his apartment. During a court-authorized search in April, investigators found dozens of bank employees’ credit reports on his computer, along with many other identifying documents for more than 150 employees, Mr. Morgenthau’s office said.
Mr. Adeyemi was arrested and has been held in custody since then. He was to be arraigned in State Supreme Court before Justice Carol Berkman. Kevin Heine, a spokesman for Bank of New York Mellon, said in a statement, “We strongly support the investigation and actions taken by the district attorney’s office, and are fully cooperating.”
It was however gathered that Adeyemi was only caught when he got greedy and decided to steal from his ID-theft victims directly and investigators realized so many of them worked at Bank of New York, said Chief Assistant DA Mark Dwyer.
Investigators are hinting that Adeyemi worked as part of a ring, and may have used some of his stolen fortune to buy his way into a sham marriage that enabled him to stay in the US. A bank spokesman Kevin Heine declined to comment on the case, except to say, “We strongly support the investigation and the actions taken by the DA’s office and are fully cooperating.”

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More Youths Engage In Artisanal Refining

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As unemployment bites harder amidst rising cost of living, more youths in rural communities in Rivers State are now going into artisanal refining business to earn a living.
The Tide reliably gathered that some youths residing in Port Harcourt City were gradually moving to rural communities for bunkering business otherwise known as ‘kpo-fire’ 
Narrating his experience to The Tide, Mr Godwin Ibeneme who resides in Rumuekini in Akpor, said he was introduced into the kpor-fire business by his father.
Ibeneme, who hails from Ibaa/ Obelle area of Emohua Local Government Area, said his father compelled him to join other youths who were thriving in the business in the community.
“My father came to my house here in Rumuekini, and told me to come to the village, that other young men are making it through kpo-fire’ bunkering since I have lost my job.
“ I didn’t waste time to give it a trial, because I had really looked for what to do, since I lost my job at a fast-food company. Since then, I can tell you that I have been taking care of myself, unlike before when everything looked hopeless”, he explained.
The Tide also learnt that the kpo-fire’ business was currently thriving in Isiokpo axis of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity, told The Tide that there was a high level of discrimination in the business.
According to him, he decided to engage himself at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to hustle for his daily bread, instead of staying idle.
The Tide recalls that the Federal Government had promised to build modular refineries in the Niger Delta region since 2019 as an alternative to illegal oil bunkering in the region as well as to create employment for the youth. 
The Tide also reports that three years after the promise was made, nothing has been done in that regard.

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Oyigbo Cassava Plant, Legacy Project   -Akawor

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, says the cassava plant project, being executed by the Rivers State Government in Oyigbo is a legacy project that will generate huge employment for Rivers people.
He said the project was well thought out and would stand the test of time to tackle unemployment as well as ensure food availability in the state.
Akawor made the remarks during an interaction with journalists at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the cassava plant which was supposed to be executed by the previous administrations, was initially planned to be a joint venture between the state government and some organisations, but that the other partners did not pay their counterpart funding.
“The steps taken by the Wike-led administration to bring this project to life without the counterpart funding is commendable, because of the huge economic benefits it will give to the state.
“Many people have also been employed at the construction sites of flyovers being executed by Julius Berger. Eighty percent of those working there are indigenes, while the company provides the expatriates”, he said.
The  PDP chairman also hinted on the plans of the state government to privatise the Buguma fish farm and banana farm, among others, so as to make them more viable.
He said that the state government had not abandoned the projects initiated by the previous administration, but was thinking on what to do with them. 
Akawor maintained that the employment of 5,000 persons into the civil service was still ongoing, saying the government is only taking time to ensure that indigenes of the state are employed.

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PH Airport Resumes Skeletal International Flight Operations

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Skeletal flight operations have resumed at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
This follows the lifting of the curfew that was imposed in the state by the Rivers State Government to check cases of insecurity in the state.
The Tide’s checks show that many of the airlines that operate international flights are yet to resume flight operations, even though the coast is clear for them to resume operations.
The Cronaux Airline, it was gathered, is the only airline at the moment that has fully resumed international flight.
Other airlines that operate at the international wing, like the Lufthansa Airline, Turkish Airline, and Ethiopian Airline are yet to resume operations. 
The Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Kunle Akinbode, confirmed the resumption of international flight operations at the airport, last Friday, saying the international wing is now open for international airlines to operate.
He explained that the curfew that was imposed in the state delayed the resumption of international flights operations, even when issues of Covid-19 standard protocols had been addressed.
“Now that the curfew is over and the international wing is open for flight operations, it is left for each of the airlines to work out its own schedule for operations.
“It will not be the duty of the airport management to sort things out for them and know when to resume. I know that some have started. Lufthansa has said they will resume next month, August”, Akinbode said.
The Tide reports that the international wing of the Port Harcourt Airport had been shut since the Covid-19 lockdown, and did not reopen when other international airports in Lagos, Abuja and Kano among others reopened for international operations.

Stories by Corlins Walter

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