Emmanuel Nwude is a Nigerian advance-fee fraud artist and former Director of Union Bank of Nigeria who is known for defrauding Nelson Sakaguchi, a Director at Brazil’s Banco Noroeste based in São Paulo, of $242 million: $191 million in cash and the remainder in the form of outstanding interest. This happened between 1995 and 1998.
He could not have pulled this kind of stuff alone, so his accomplices were Emmanuel Ofolue, Nzeribe Okoli, and Obum Osakwe, along with the husband and wife duo, Christian Ikechukwu Anajemba and Amaka Anajemba, with Christian later being assassinated by some of their victims.
After Nick Leeson’s trading losses at Barings Bank, and the looting of the Iraqi Central Bank by Qusay Hussein, the crime was the third largest in global banking history. Emmanuel and his accomplices were arrested in 2004 after the then President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo has established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in 2002.
Emmanuel and his accomplices were later sentenced to a 29 years jail sentence after much attempt to bribe and scare the court with a bomb, wherein the court siezed all his assets to forfeiture. He was released in 2017. He later charged the government to recover all his assets cliaming they were acquired before the fraud crime was committed, he was later able to recover about $52 million worth of properties.
After a large-scale attack on a town in Nigeria in August 2016, Nwude was alleged to be a ringleader and was arrested on murder charges. He remains in custody for this offense.
Emmanuel Nwude remains one of the smartest criminals in the history of the world as he has successfully defrauded some of the most secured financial institutions in the world and gone away with it.