Nigerian Athlete arrested in US over alleged theft, fraud

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A 21-year-old Nigerian athlete, Favour Oghene Tejiri Ashe, is facing legal troubles after being arrested on multiple charges of theft and fraud.

Ashe, recognized as one of Nigeria’s fastest sprinters, was apprehended by Auburn Police in Alabama.

The charges include four counts of fraudulent use of a debit/credit card and two counts of theft of property third degree.

The arrest followed a theft report on February 4, 2024, involving stolen items from a purse, including a credit card. Ashe, known for his impressive athletic achievements, is currently held at Lee County Jail on a $9,000 bond.

Despite his athletic prowess, Ashe’s legal situation raises concerns about his off-field activities.

He also represented Nigeria at the 2022 and 2023 World Athletics Championships and the 2022 Commonwealth Games, where he won a bronze medal in the 4 x 100 meters relay.

Ashe is the latest set of US-based Nigerian athletes to be arrested on fraud-related charges in the US, BoldSports reports.

Bold Sports in November 2022, reported how five Nigerian athletes, Toluwani Adebakin, Emmanuel Ineh, reigning African Games 100m champion Raymond Ekevwo, Mercy Abire and Aniekeme Etim were indicted and charged over wire and mail fraud in the US.

Adebakin and Ineh had earlier both been convicted of fraud and faced a possible 10-year jail term after they pleaded guilty to “violations of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1957, for engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activities, collectively sending tens of thousands of illicitly obtained proceeds to fraudsters in Nigeria as part of a larger mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering conspiracy.”

Abire went on to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and risked 20 years in jail.