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NDLEA freezes N20bn in Mallinson Ukatu’s 103 bank accounts over Drug deals

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has seized N20bn lodged in 103 bank accounts belonging to Mallinson Ukatu, a Lagos socialite and businessman, who is being held in Ikoyi Custodial Centre for drug dealing.

The anti narcotics agency also filed 23-count charges against the socialite and his six companies: Fruitroprics Industries Limited, Mallinson and Partners Limited, NISPO Porcelain Company Limited, MBL Multi-links Services Limited, NISPO Oil and Gas Limited and Urban Space Services Limited- before the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The charges dated August 4, 2022, were signed by the Director, Prosecution and Legal Services, J. Sunday, J. Obi, Bridget Viasimah, J. Aernan and the Prosecuting Counsel, Mike Kassa, on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The drug agency had earlier obtained an interim seizure of 25 properties belonging to Ukatu who was arrested for allegedly importing tramadol valued at N3bn into the country.

The billionaire was said to have used Fruitropics Industries Limited’s United Bank for Africa account no. 1006588563 to illegally convert N123.8m which is deemed to be proceeds of an unlawful act, contrary to section 15(2)(b) and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended).

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The first defendant was also alleged to have, between January 1, 2018 and September 23, 2021, used Mallinson and Partners Limited’s UBA account no. 1001228653 to convert N1.447bn which was a proceed of crime in violation of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended).

Count six read, “That you, Ukatu Mallinson, male, adult and Mallinson & Partners Limited, a corporate body registered in Nigeria, between July 25, 2017 and October 14, 2021 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court using Mallinson & Partners Limited’s Access Bank account no. 0004974284 converted the sum of $347, 755 knowingly or reasonably ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(b) and punishable under section 15(3) and (4) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended).”

The drug agency further accused the businessman of using Multi-Links Service Limited’s Access Bank account no. 0720857089 to convert N52.4m between January 1, 2017 and October 14, 2021.

Count 13 read, “That you, Ukatu Mallinson, male, adult and Mallinson & Partners Limited, a corporate body registered in Nigeria, between January 2, 2019 and October 14, 2021 in Nigeria, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court using Mallinson & Partners Limited’s Access Bank Plc account no. 0006750241 converted the sum of N10.875bn knowingly or reasonably ought to have known to be proceeds of an unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(b) and punishable under Section 15(3) and (4) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act, 2011 (as amended).’’

The accused was also said to have between January 7, 2018 and October 14, 2021, used Access Bank Plc’s account no. 0006744778 operated by Mallinson and Partners to convert N7.201bn, contrary to the money laundering laws.

The FG also complained that the first defendant laundered $643, 024.67 using Access Bank’s account no. 0021354930 belonging to Mallinson and Partners Limited.

This allegedly occurred between February 6, 2019 and October 14, 2021.

The businessman was also alleged to have laundered $260, 268.25 in Access Bank Plc’s account no. 0076058733 belonging to NISPO Porcelain Company Limited between January 1, 2017 and October 14, 2021.

The prosecutor further revealed that Ukatu laundered N895.6m 727.49 in Access Bank’s account no. 0053720969 operated by Mallinson & Partners Limited between January 2, 2019 and October 14, 2021.

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