Raymond Ekevwo, the reigning African Games 100m champion, along with four other Nigerian athletes, namely Anikeme Etim, Emmanuel Ineh, Toluwani Adebakin, and Mercy Abire, as well as Zimbabwe’s Ngoni Chadyiwa, have been indicted for mail and wire fraud by the United States district court for the Southern district of Mississippi eastern division, Forest County.
In the charges brought by the Grand Jury, it is stated that the six defendants (athletes) “knowingly combined, conspired, and agreed with each other and other persons known and unknown to the Grand Jury to commit offenses against the United States in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1956 and 1957, to wit:
a.’To transport, transmit, and transfer, and attempt to transport, transmit, and transfer, a monetary instrument or funds involving the proceeds of specified unlawful activity, that is, mail and wire fraud in violation of Title 18, USA, sections 1341 and 1343, from a place inside the United States to and through a place outside the United States, and from a place outside the United States to a place inside the United States, knowing that the funds involved in the transportation, transmission, and transfer are the proceeds of
The charges also allege that the defendants knew “that such transportation, transmission, and transfer was designed in whole or in part to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds of such unlawful activity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, section 1956 (a)(2)(B)(i); and “that such transportation, transmission, and transfer was made with the intent to conceal and disguise the nature, location, source, ownership, and control of the proceeds of such unlawful activity.”
b. Knowingly engage in or attempt to engage in monetary transactions involving criminally derived property with a value exceeding $10,000, affecting interstate and foreign commerce, which was derived from specified illegal activity. Twelve years after Olusoji Fasuba’s victory in Algiers, Ekevwo returned Nigeria to the podium as the African Games champion.
At the 2019 African Games in Rabat, Morocco, the 20-year-old Ekevwo ran 9.96 to win the 100m gold ahead of Arthur Cissé of Ivory Coast (9.97) and another Nigerian, Usheoritse Itsekiri (10.02).
In addition, he was a member of the Nigerian 4x100m relay team that won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.