How EFCC found $10k fake travelers cheque with bizman

Ogunsakin Mustapha
5 Min Read
Mark Obisesan

A Forensic Document Examiner with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Bamairiga Haruna, has told a Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos, that ten thousand dollars travellers cheque found in possession of a young businessman Mark Obisesan was a counterfeit.

This was in evidence given before the court by Haruna at the resumption of trial of Obisesan and others. Obisesan was re-arraigned alongside Olumide Mcintosh, Bolaji Bakare and Goodluck Bazunu before Justice Sherifat Solebo over alleged conspiracy and forging of United State Travellers Cheque.

According to the charge, the defendants and one Josiah Ntekume who is at large sometime in 2018 purchased and received forged United States Dollar Travelers cheque no GA 908-981-567. However, all the defendants pleaded not guilty to the eleven count charges levelled against them.

Led in evidence by the EFCC Counsel, Nkereuwem Anana, the forensic expert stated that upon careful observation of the ten thousand dollars travellers cheque it was observed that the cheque lacks the statutory security features of a cheque.

The witness explained that the travellers cheque was analysed with handheld magnifier, laker microscope, video comparator 8000 and ultraviolet light.

He stated that upon completion of the analysis of the ten thousand dollars travellers cheque, all his findings were compiled in a report and forwarded to the head of operation for further investigation.

He further told court that his report was extensive enough and as to generally how the currency is been produced. “I personally reached out to overseas criminal investigation embassy in Abuja.”

Subsequently, the EFCC Counsel presented the report to the witness to authenticate and after his affirmation, Anana tender the report urging court to admit same as evidence.

Under cross examination by the defence counsel team, the Forensic Document Examiner said that the ten thousand dollars was issued by America Express while the 100 dollars traveller cheque which is genuine was issued by Mastercard.

He however said that a non constant handlers of a travellers cheque can not identify fake except he or she has previous knowledge.

Meanwhile, during the re-arraignment of the defendants, a Legal Attache with Federal Bereau of Investigation (FBI), Mr. Ayotunde Awoyeni in his testimony narrated to court that, EFCC sent a letter to his office, requested from FBI to assist the commission to confirm the authenticity of all the eleven Traveller cheques.

Awoyeni said, ” The eleven Travelers cheques was attached to the EFCC letter. All the letters was handed over to the Supervisory Special Agent, Alder Armstrong. Armstrong wrote an email to America Express, the authorisation center.

“She later made phone call after a while, referred them to the earlier email sent. The officer at the other end checked the data base to confirmed that numbers were not genuine.

“The response was written down in the letter, the pictures was printed out and attached to the letter signed by Alder Amstrong on January 29,2020.

The witness was however cross examined by the defense counsel, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) and other counsel representing the other defendants.

The witness thereafter told the court that FBI is not a Nigeria investigation authority but EFCC requested for assistance. He reiterated that the review conducted by FBI is that eleven Travellers Cheque were fake.

“The FBI relied on Aelex, an American Expert. That was why we contacted Aelex to confirm the genuineness of the total documents, the travellers cheque. The only role FBI played was to confirm the authenticity of the travelers cheques, not investigate. EFCC did.”

Upon the completion of the witness testimonies EFCC applied for an adjournment to present the last prosecutor witness which is the Investigating Officer

The prayer was granted and the matter was adjourned till May 30, 31 and June 1st for continuation of trial

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