by Stanley Azuakola
Mauro Zanin, an Italian due to appear in court on Wednesday has died in the custody of the Economic and Financial Crimes and Commission (EFCC).
Zanin who was held in detention after allegations of fraud were made against him was found motionless in the bathroom of the EFCC detention facility in Abuja in the early hours of Tuesday. The police believe that this is a case of suicide. In a statement released by EFCC’s Acting Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, mentioned that the deceased used his bed sheet to commit suicide. All efforts to revive the 52 year-old Italian proved futile as he was subsequently certified dead at about 5.45am.
Mr Zanin was arrested by officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service after a complaint was filed against him by Mr Ahamefula Chibuzor Ewuzie.
It was alleged that Zanin fraudulently obtained the sum of $111,000 from Dr Mma Wokocha of Gladwaters Nigeria Limited under the guise of selling a used Italgraghe SGT 200 dredger to her, to execute some dredging contract in the Niger Delta. After a long wait for the dredger to arrive, it was discovered that Zanin had forged the bill of laden as the ship in question did not exist at the time of contract. The case was later transferred to the EFCC for further investigations. The Italian embassy was officially noted of his arrest and he was held in detention when he could not get a surety to take him on bail.
Dr Wokocha has expressed shock at the news of Zanin’s death. She is left without being compensated for her huge loss.
The remains of Mr Zanin have been deposited in the mortuary for an autopsy to be carried out, and the Nigerian Police is still pursuing the case.