The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) said it has secured the final forfeiture of $300,000, belonging to a Chinese national, Li Yan Pin, to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The forfeiture order was granted by Justice Babatunde Quadri of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
But the judge spared the convict a jail term because he allegedly had symptoms of COVID-19.
A statement by the Head of Media and Publicity of EFCC, Mr. Dele Oyewale, said the Chinese was tried for money laundering.
The statement said: “The judge had earlier ordered the interim forfeiture of the money following an ex-parte application filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“Yan Pin stood trial for a money laundering charge, leveled 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 has 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.”