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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Announces Extradition Of Individual From Benin For His Role In An International Money Laundering Network

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York
Dominic Francis Labiran Is the First to Be Extradited From Benin to the United States

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that DOMINIC FRANCIS LABIRAN, a citizen of the United Kingdom and Nigeria, was extradited Tuesday, June 18, from Benin.  LABIRAN was charged with participating in an international money laundering conspiracy between March and June of 2019.  LABIRAN was arrested in Benin on or about October 29, 2021, on an Interpol Red Notice and was presented and arraigned today before U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, Dominic Francis Labiran participated in a conspiracy to launder millions of dollars.  This extradition not only highlights the effectiveness of global cooperation, but shows that no matter where they are or how long it takes, law enforcement will find and hold accountable those who engage in fraudulent schemes and money laundering.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment:[1]

Beginning in at least 2013, one of LABIRAN’s co-conspirators, Alade Kazeem Sodiq, a/k/a “Eluku,” and others defrauded financial institutions by falsely representing themselves as bank accountholders in order to conduct financial transactions without the consent of the true accountholders.  Beginning in or about January 2019, one of the participants in that scheme who had agreed to cooperate with law enforcement (“CW-1”) contacted Sodiq and said that CW-1 could fraudulently obtain funds from a U.S.-based business.  CW-1 told Sodiq that CW-1 needed bank accounts in the U.S. through which CW-1 could launder the criminal proceeds.  Sodiq agreed to provide bank accounts to CW-1 and introduced CW-1 to LABIRAN and another co-conspirator, Abdulai Kennedy Saaka, a/k/a “Kenny.”  LABIRAN and Sakka agreed to provide accounts in their names or over which they exercised control in exchange for a fee of nearly 50% of the money that passed through the accounts.  Law enforcement subsequently moved funds from a covert account to the designated accounts and then on to a second covert account, less the agreed-upon fees.

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LABIRAN, 62, a citizen of the United Kingdom and Nigeria, is charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI.  He further thanked the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs, the U.S. Embassy in Benin, and the Diplomatic Security Service, as well as authorities in Benin’s Ministry of Justice and Legislation and the Beninese Republican Police for their assistance in securing the defendant’s extradition from Benin.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Illicit Finance & Money Laundering Unit.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Rebold and Andrew Rohrbach are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Indictment constitutes only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.


Nicholas Biase, Lauren Scarff, Shelby Wratchford
(212) 637-2600

Updated June 20, 2024

Financial Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-225