The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has secured the final forfeiture of $300,000 belonging to a Chinese national, Li Yan Pin, to the Nigerian Government.
Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja, granted the forfeiture order on Monday.
According to a statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr Dele Oyewale, Justice Quadri spared the Chinese a jail term because he allegedly had symptoms of COVID-19.
The statement reads, “The judge had earlier ordered the interim forfeiture of the money following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
“Yan Pin stood trial for a money laundering charge levelled against him by the EFCC over the said sum after intelligence led to his arrest at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for failing to declare the sum in his possession, as he attempted to board a flight to China en-route Dubai.
“Justice Quadri in his judgment said the prosecution had proved its case beyond every reasonable doubt and found the defendant guilty of the charges according to Section 2, sub-section (5) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011, as amended in 2012.
“The defence counsel in its response pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy as the convict, he said had invested his resources on the development of Nigeria, and currently facing difficult health challenges.
“He also claimed that his client has no prior criminal conviction.
“While ordering that the said sum be forfeited to the Federal Government, Justice Quadri saved the convict a jail term on the ground that he had earlier filed for a medical leave over alleged COVID-19 symptoms that included persistent headache, insomnia and fatigue.”