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EFCC Arrests Pastor for N1.3 Billion Fake Grants, Money Laundering Scheme

EFCC

In a startling revelation, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has apprehended Apostle Theophilus Oloche Ebonyi, the General Overseer of Faith On The Rock Ministry International, on charges related to orchestrating a massive fraud scheme amounting to N1.3 billion through fake grants and money laundering tactics.

According to EFCC operatives, Ebonyi’s modus operandi involved deceiving church members and unsuspecting Nigerians, including NGOs, by advertising a fictitious intervention project purportedly funded by the renowned Ford Foundation. The scam claimed to offer a staggering $20 billion grant to assist the less privileged in society.

Under the guise of his NGO, Theobarth Global Foundation, Ebonyi allegedly persuaded victims to enrol as beneficiaries of the non-existent grant by soliciting payment for registration forms and clusters.

Each subscriber was coerced into parting with N1.8 million, resulting in a total haul of N1.3 billion for the fraudster. Shockingly, these subscribers were innocent individuals and organizations across the country lured into the scheme by promises of financial assistance.

However, investigations conducted by the EFCC revealed that Ebonyi had no legitimate affiliation with the Ford Foundation. In fact, the Foundation vehemently disavowed any association with him or his NGO, emphasizing that they had no involvement whatsoever in the purported grant scheme. Moreover, the EFCC uncovered evidence linking Ebonyi to the acquisition of five properties acquired through the proceeds of his illicit activities.

Despite his arrest, Ebonyi is reportedly continuing his fraudulent activities, actively reaching out to subscribers through social media platforms to peddle his spurious grant offers allegedly provided by the Ford Foundation.

The agency noted that he will be charged to court as soon as the investigation is completed.

Recall that The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had earlier clarified that some religious sects had been indicted for money laundering, as revealed by its Chairman, Ola Olukoyede.

Olukoyede had revealed that the anti-graft agency traced the sum of N7bn, suspected to be part of N30bn money laundering, to a religious organisation. He further revealed that another religious group was found to be laundering money for terrorists.

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