Three siblings who were working directly for the leader of a notorious Nigerian crime gang have been convicted of laundering nearly £1m for the Black Axe organised crime syndicate through UK bank accounts.
Okemiorukaye Nakpodia, 56, was found guilty of conspiracy to money launder at Woolwich Crown Court today (8 May 2019). Esther Nakpodia, 35, Unuakpotovo Nakpodia, 46, both pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
All three siblings, who live in Greenwich in London, will next appear at the same court on 24 May 2019 for sentencing.
They laundered the proceeds of hundreds of frauds between 2007 and 2015.
Police identified 174 suspicious transactions entering bank accounts. Money from a number of the victims of the original frauds ended up in the defendants’ bank accounts and was then laundered by the Nakpodias.
The leader of the Black Axe, Augustus Bemigho-Eyeoyibo, is the brother-in-law of the three defendants. Black Axe is a banned organisation in Nigeria and has been linked to decades of murders, rapes, extortion and drug dealing in Nigeria and across the world, with members allegedly swearing a ‘blood oath’ to join.
Esther and Unuakpotovo Nakpodia are also subject to extradition proceedings concerning advance fee frauds in Greece, to be held at Westminster Magistrates Court at a later date.