The Nigeria Police Cybercrime Unit, INTERPOL National Central Bureau, Abuja, has arrested three suspects, Samson Inegbenesun, 30; Blessed Junior, 32; and Muhammed Zakari, 36; all from Uromi in Edo State, for cybercrime-related offences, including advance fee fraud, money laundering and romance scam.
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.
According to police investigation, Inegbenosun is an Internet fraudster and a member of a Turkey-based online scam syndicate.
The police said he supplied foreign and local bank accounts to receive fraudulent funds and used the same as a conduit to other feeder accounts.
“The police have recovered from him a building apartment worth N20m, a Toyota RAV-4 2015 model worth N6.5m and a Toyota Matrix 2002 model valued at N2m, which he procured with the proceeds of the crime,” the Force spokesman; Frank Mba explained in a statement.
The second suspect, Junior, was said to have returned to Nigeria from Italy in February 2020, but maintained contact with his Italian associates.
Police investigations revealed that he had made over N120m from Internet fraud and other cybercrime dealings.
He was found to have also received the sum of €52,000 recently from his criminal associates in Italy, as commission for his alleged involvement in an international cybercrime deal.
He allegedly owned a filling station established with the proceeds of the crime.
The police disclosed that Zakari, an expert in Internet fraud, identity theft and impersonation, falsely claimed to be a British citizen and also posed as Kelly Galk on online dating apps, which he used in carrying out romance scams and defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
“Investigation reveals he has made millions of naira from his illicit cybercrime transactions since he joined the syndicate. All the suspects will be prosecuted in line with the Cybercrime Prevention/Prohibition Act, 2015,” Mba stated.