…First published in November 2007
- Duped govt of Benin Republic
- Broke jail in Nigeria, UK
- Declared wanted by Interpol
By DICKSON OMONODE
HE operates like a clone from the Sicilian Costra Nostra Mafiadom quick thinking, good dresser, multilingual and always ahead of his prey. But inside this human casing is a mind that spins all sorts of crimes including advance fee fraud, phoney international deals, export-import scam and sundry make-believe deals through which he has swindled friends, banks, presidents and unsuspecting business people. The end, however, seems imminent for Prince Buruji Kashamu as the radar of Interpol is said to have closed in on him for arrest and prosecution.
National Daily Newspaper can report authoritatively that Prince Kashamu who goes by many aliases namely Esho Jinadu, Ola Shamu, Wole Adeosun, Kasmal, Bukas Kasmal, Nacoil, Seicb Benin among others is only a whisper away from jail.
Police authorities at the Federal Criminal Investigation Department (FCID) Force Headquarters, Abuja, are optimistic that the Lagos socialite and international con-man whom they are currently investigating, is one of the biggest drug barons that have for years outsmarted Interpol and various Police authorities across the globe.
The suspect, who was declared a wanted drug baron in Nigeria in the 1980s and was believed to have changed his identity several times, was also declared a wanted person in Benin Republic after he used his Cotton Ginnery Company to dupe many people and organisations, including the Union Bank branch in that country and former President Nicephone Soglo, who he allegedly served as Chief Security Officer (CSO).
Preliminary investigations confirmed that Kashamu began life at the Lagos Mainland Council before his sudden wealth that gave rise to Jinson Motors on Allen, which was raided by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) under the headship of Musa Bamaiyi in 1984/85 but he escaped from NDLEA detention cell and fled to Benin Republic.
In 1998, he was caught in London by the British Police over money-laundering and drug-trafficking offences. He was detained at London’s Heathrow Airport with large amount of hard currency including six passports of different nationalities in his possession.
Through a standard name check, the British Customs authorities found out that there was an outstanding US warrant for his arrest on narcotics trafficking charges, his street drug trafficking name at that time was Kasmal. He was therefore detained, prosecuted and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
Besides these, which security reports available to National Daily have confirmed, preliminary investigations also show that upon his return to Nigeria in 2003, after serving out a four-year jail term in British prison, he used Kasmal International Limited to dupe a new generation bank to the tune of $4.1 million through a fraudulent letter of credit. It was then said that he took loans with a deliberate attempt not to pay back.
Police investigators, who confirmed that they are closing in on the suspect, also said he has a recent warrant of arrest issued against him in Britain for money laundering over a case involving Vitol.
National Daily Newspaper gathered that in the Vitol case, the suspect after receiving a consignment of petroleum products from the company abroad, sold them all, collected all the money only to accuse Vitol of supplying adulterated products. Based on this false claim, he refused to pay the company.
He is, at present, still putting documents together to prove his false claim as the bank is under pressure from the Brazilian firm to honour the irrevocable letter of credit issued to it for the transaction.
National Daily Newspaper learnt that the suspect, who has been changing his name and identity, was known in social circles at various times simply as Wole, Jinadu Bukas and so on. As a result, he was able to beat off the Police and Interpol.
National Daily intelligence revealed that at social functions, musicians sing his praise with the name Esho Jinadu, which he gorgeously dances to and acknowledges cheers from close friends who know him as Esho Jinadu.
But it appears luck has run out on him following a seemingly simple case that brought him to the attention of the Nigerian Police Force. In the current case, the socialite had dragged his estranged wife to Police Station over the paternity of two-month-old twins in their custody.
The FCID officials handling the matter are still at a loss as to why the two-month old twins recently taken into custody by the Area A police command in Lagos are yet to be released to their foster mother in spite of findings that they were legally adopted by the suspect’s estranged wife, Rosemary.
Sources close to the Police alleged that the non-release of the twins was the handiwork of Prince Kashamu who allegedly defrauded the estranged wife to the tune of N25million.
National Daily investigation revealed that the hubby who is indebted to some banks already, a development which makes it difficult to get additional loan facility had sought for the sum of N150million as loan from the lady to enable him prosecute a deal with a promise to repay the money by end of September, 2007.
After much persuasion, the lady promised to raise N50m. She raised a cheque for an initial N25m, which he hurriedly cashed with a promise to issue a post-dated cheque for the same amount against September 30, 2007. He was said to have continued to mount pressure on his victim for the second instalment without the promised post-dated cheque for the value.
Sources close to the family revealed that, on smelling a rat, the estranged wife refused to part with another N25m, hence his decision to level allegations of murder, child theft and threat to life against her. He also denied the fatherhood of the children.“Things went awry when the man shifted the agreed time of repayment from September to November 30, a development which was not accepted by the lady,” said our source.
Following a complaint of fraud against the man in a petition titled “Request for a comprehensive investigation and transfer of case file, suspect and all other related cases to FCID” lodged at the Force Headquarters, Abuja by the lady’s lawyers, Police detectives from the anti-fraud unit, Abuja recently came looking for the suspect in his hotel on Lagos Island.
They cordoned-off the hotel where he was said to be hiding at the time but could not arrest him as he allegedly escaped after getting a tip-off by inside sources that detectives from the FCID were in town on his trail.
Efforts made by National Daily to reach the socialite for his comments on the allegations did not yield any positive result as his whereabouts remained unknown. The foster-mother herself who is said to be in pain over the ‘ugly’ development could not also be reached as she was also in an undisclosed location over threats to her life.
Watchers of the unfolding drama which no doubt threatens the health of the infants are wondering what is still hindering the arrest of the suspect.