Editors Note: This story was brought to us by an editor in Abuja who then directed us to numerous extraordinary tales of an alleged (“doctor”) who in more ways than one does not actually appear to be a doctor but instead a notorious grifter. Dr Emto, as he calls himself, is actually Emmanuel Uweh. This is only the first part of a wide-net investigation into the scam that is believed to span Nigeria to America.
Dr Emto is a notorious supposed doctor that long has ran an apparent grifting scam using a Whatsapp group and would-be investors hungry for their next project. The project, however, doesn’t appear to be real at all but instead part of a much larger scam that traces back to various different projects all linked back to Dr. Emto.
As it turns out, we’ve actually been investigating Dr. Emto since at least January though only recently began to directly communicate with the many who now appear to be his victims. The initial onset investigation has all but taken our investigations team halfway around the world and back.
- “Naira” refers to the currency in Nigeria.
- “Dr Emto” is actually Emmanuel Uweh. It is unclear if he is actually a doctor as we could not verify his credentials through the usual back channels available in Nigeria.
- Lagos is a popular city in Nigeria though Emto’s alleged scam appears to span multiple areas.
- We’ve added a Google Translate function to this article so it can be translated in and out of the local language.
We’d like to make something abundantly clear: We were almost entirely unable to verify that a “Dr. Emto” or by his supposed legal name assigned on the contract he presents others ever imported medical equipment. Transportation records and import records for Nigeria and at Nigerian ports over the last year have no documentation for such a name. At least two of the reported Whatsapp conversations mention China and a Chinese vendor — though we also could not confirm that a Dr Emto was working with any known Chinese medical supplie(s) vendor.
The scam reportedly began last year (although we’ve found traces of it dating back prior to that) after Dr. Emto promised a group of friends (who asked not to be identified) that they’d be part of the greater good though by the time that “project” came to be things changed. Initially, it is unclear what that promise was though when COVID hit — Emto ‘s scam increased and the story dramatically changed.
Beginning in March 2020, four locals (whom we’ve confirmed all had communications with Emmanuel) were apart of the (“medical supplies”) scam that dozens of Nigerians now apparently know about as they know it to be today. Initially, Emto had claimed to his own friends that they would be investors in a supplies ring that would bring in much needed equipment to hard hit areas of Nigeria. Particularly Lagos where Emto appears to have based much of his fabricated claims out of.
Those individuals claim that Emto provided them a false contract that was not actually signed by a lawyer; appears to be forged, and also appears to be written on a Microsoft Word document rather than by a legitimate barrister or lawyer (depending on what you may call a legal professional.)
Bazaar Daily UK obtained parts of the contract he has allegedly been sending people under the guise of becoming potentlal investors. The contract is as seen below and altered versions of the same contract appear to have been sent to dozens of unsuspecting victims across multiple local regions in the country.
On Twitter, a variation of the same contract began circulating in April of last year before spinning almost entirely out of control. Emto was not available for comment at neither a local phone number nor an address that we provided to a reporter based in Lagos who is assisting us with this headline story.
The contract is quite literally only the beginning of one of the most extraordinary alleged scams we’ve ever seen.
Dr Emto may not actually be a doctor at all
It seems though in Nigeria one can easily verify or attempt to verify we might say the credentials of a reported doctor. According to this website, click here, one just enters a name or may in fact reporter a quack doctor (as Nigeria seems to gleefully call them.) It does not appear that Emmanuel ‘s name shows up on the Nigerian government website to verify such doctors.
The address listed on part of the documents he sends out actually leads to a bank.
A bank that does not appear to have any knowledge of a Dr Emto or what people are talking about. It is unclear if Emto may be using a different name (benefit of the doubt here) or maybe lying about his association with a so-called bank at all. Though the address in question 49A, Lafiaji Street, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria (which is found on the contract circulating) leads back to Bridgeway Microfinance Bank. This is not actually a residential address for Emto.
This perhaps was red flag number one.
What is the scam?
Emto maintains that he imports medical equipment and supplies from what we understand to be China. Nigeria has some pretty straightforward import and export laws which led us to digging into whether or not we could retrace potential important movements of a shipment with his name on it or a business associated with his name on it.
The problem with this is that no port in the area appears to show arrivals in the past year or longer from China for Emto or have an association with Emto. We’ve compiled a list of questions for Emto if we are actually successful in tracking him down as it looks like he is using a series of dummy addresses; mobile numbers, and is lying about his present whereabouts.
How many victims are there?
At this time we’ve counted at least 7 victims so far although we are under the impression that there may be far more. We are attempting to navigate foreign waters in Nigeria to find as many as we can as the stories appear to vary about how they were scammed.