Cybercrime: Interpol arrests 3, as IRT operatives rescue American in Lagos

The Nigeria Police say operatives of its Cybercrime Unit, INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB), Abuja, have arrested three suspects for cyber-related offences, including advance fee fraud, money laundering and romance scam.

A statement by the Spokesperson of the Force Headquarters, DCP Frank Mba, made available to Newsdiaryonline on Sunday gave their names as Samson Inegbenesun, 30 years; Blessed Junior, 32 years and Muhammed Zakari, 36 years from Uromi in Edo State.

“The suspects were arrested in Uromi, following investigations into suspected fraudulent online procurement and supply of COVID-19 protective masks, received through the INTERPOL NCB Wiesbaden, Germany.

“Investigations reveal that Samson Inegbenosun is an internet fraudster and a member of a Turkey-based online scamming syndicate.

“He supplies foreign and local bank accounts to receive fraudulent funds and use same as conduit to other feeder accounts.

“Meanwhile, the Police have recovered from him, a building apartment worth N20,000,000.00, a Toyota RAV-4 2015 model worth N6,500,000.00 and a Toyota Matrix 2002 model valued at N2,000,000.00, which he procured with the proceeds of the crime.

“The second suspect, Blessed Junior, returned to Nigeria from Italy in February, 2020 but maintains close contacts and illicit dealings with his Italian associates.

“Investigations reveal that he has made over N120,000,000.00) from internet fraud and other cybercrime dealings.

“He also received the sum of €52,000 recently from his criminal associates in Italy as commission for his active involvement in an international cybercrime deal. He also owns a filling station established with the proceeds of the crime.

“The third suspect, Mohammed Zakari, is an expert in internet fraud, identity theft and impersonation, falsely claims to be a British citizen.

He also poses to be one Kelly Galk on online dating apps, which he uses to carry out romance scams and to defraud unsuspecting members of the public, locally and internationally.

“Investigation reveals he has made millions of naira from his illicit cybercrime transactions since he joined the syndicate,” the statement reads.

Similar, Mba stated that Police operatives have rescued an American citizen who was confined in a Lagos hotel where she was held against her wish for over a year.

“The victim, who hails from Washington DC, USA and is a retired civil servant in the US, arrived Nigeria on 13th February, 2019 on a visit to one Chukwuebuka Kasi Obiaku, 34 years old, a native of Ikeduru LGA of Imo State, whom she met on Facebook.

“She was however rescued by Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Ogun State Annex, following information received from a patriotic and civic minded Nigerian in the Meran area of Lagos State.

“The rescue of the American lady is coming on the heels of a similar case of abducted Philippino, who was lured to Nigeria by her supposed lover, whom she equally met on Facebook.

“Investigations reveal that the suspect, Chukwuebuka Kasi Obiaku is a graduate of Business Administration and Management and an internet fraudster, who has defrauded many unsuspecting members of the public both locally and internationally.

“Chukwuebuka deliberately lured the victim into the country under the pretext of love and deceitfully married her on 15th May, 2019. He subsequently held her captive in a hotel, extorted from her monies amounting to a total of $48,000.

“He also forcefully collected and took control of her credit and debit cards as well as the operation of her bank accounts, including the receipt of her monthly retirement benefits and allowances over the period of 15 months.

“Chukwuebuka also used the victim as a front to defraud her associates and other foreign personalities and companies,” the Spokesperson further stated.

He added that all the suspects will be charged to court on conclusion of investigation and prosecuted in line with the Cybercrime Prevention/Prohibition Act, 2015.