Spaniard arrested for allegedly duping Imo Government of N1.6bn


The suspect was arrested by Interpol and handed over to Imo Police.

The Imo State Government has announced the arrest of Jose Lopez-Pepe, a Spanish contractor and director in a construction company handling projects in the state, by the Interpol.

The Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Ebere Uzokwa, made this known in a statement issued in Owerri on Friday.

The statement stated that Mr. Lopez-Pepe was arrested by Interpol in Lagos.

Mr. Uzokwa said the suspect, who is a Director of Hormipresa Nig. Ltd., had been handed over to Imo Police Command.

He said that Lopez-Pepe was arrested following alleged move to divert 1.6 million Euros meant for the purchase and supply of some materials for the execution of a contract awarded to the company.

He added that the suspect was arrested following a petition written by the Managing Director of the company, Emmanuel Emenike. He said the company had secured contracts worth about N3.5 billion from the state government.

Mr. Uzokwa said that the government had released 30 per cent of the amount totaling over N1 billion to the company as mobilisation fees.

He said that the managing director of the company had transferred the N1.6 million Euros to Mr. Lopez-Pepe’s Spanish bank account for the purchase of the equipment.

The spokesperson said the Spaniard, however, failed to supply the materials which made the managing director to alert the Interpol.

Meanwhile, the Imo Government has petitioned the appropriate Spanish authorities and the bank, requesting for immediate repatriation of the funds, Mr. Uzokwa said.


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