How Police Uncovered Fraudsters’ Den In Ogun State

fraudsters-denPolice on Wednesday uncovered a den in Ogun State believed to be operated by fraudsters and used for organised crimes.

The police say unsuspecting members of the public have been swindled of money and other valuables.

Located inside the bush at Abule Ifa area of Siun, in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the state, many victims were thought to have fallen victims to their pranks.

fraudsters-den-in-ogun
Some items discovered inside the den by the police

Leading others, including the Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu, the Assistant Inspector General of Police, Abdulmajid Ali, said two suspects had been arrested and would be made to face the consequences.

A Place For Organised Crime

The building from outside looks like a place where movies are shot, but on the inside, it bore marks of a place where illegal activities occur.

It is located inside the forest, hidden from the prying eyes of other members of the community.

fraudsters-hideout-in-ogun
An underground bunker well sealed with cement, but forced open by security operatives

A cursory look at the buildings revealed that the den was equipped with underground bunkers, no doubt many unsuspecting members of the public must have been duped of their money and other valuables.

“I think you have gone around yourself and see some funny stuffs they put in place.

“This is not a theatre place. This is a place for organised crime, where fraudsters use to deceive innocent citizens and part with large sums of money.

“I have gotten a lot of report about them and we have been monitoring them and we have successfully arrested two of them,” Mr Ali told reporters.

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with the den. They claimed to have been in the business for months now.

One of the victims who was lured into the den narrated his ordeal.

He said: “When I got inside, they were in the dark and they were talking to me saying that they wanted to make me the richest person in this country. In this wise, I asked them what my next action should be.

suspected-fruadsters
Two suspects arrested by the police

“They said that they will cut down the Iroko tree, calve a box for me and that I will have to look for a house where nobody will enter and put it there.

“They said I will have to put 40 million Naira there and that it will be converted to dollars”.

In a related development, the State Police Command also paraded a 32-year-old house-wife and mother of one alongside two others for allegedly hiring hired assassins to eliminate her husband over unresolved marital issues

The woman in question, Oluchi Onyebuchi, has, however, debunked this claim asking the police to investigated the claims and ascertain her culpability or otherwise.

El-Rufai Raises Alarm About Fraudsters Impersonating Him

Nasir-El-Rufai-Kaduna-GovernorThe Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, on Monday raised the alarm that fraudsters are using his name to defraud job seekers in the state.

The Governor warned those applying for employment in the State Civil Service or contracts to be wary of such unscrupulous elements.

In a statement he issued through his Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan, Governor El-Rufai said that security agencies were on the trail of the fraudsters.

According to him, the fraudsters specialised in duping persons under the guise of securing government appointments and contracts in the state for them.

He warned the public, especially those seeking jobs or contracts in the state, against the nefarious acts of the syndicate in order not to fall victim.

According to the statement, the fraudsters have been dropping a Bank account, with the name Martin Anderson and telephone numbers circulate through Facebook and other social network platforms.

Scam: Women Lose £220,000 To Fake Profile Lovers On Match.com

Fake_passportAt a trial at Winchester Crown Court in the UK, it was revealed that tricksters have bombarded lonely women on a dating website with gushing messages of love to con them out of £220,000.

The group created false profiles on Match.com to pose as middle-aged men and told victims they were their ‘soulmate’ and ‘inspiration’.

One woman received a message describing ‘the love thundering into our hearts that only we can understand’.

According to a report on Daily Mail Online, The gang invented a story about needing money to ‘free up’ a £1.5million inheritance locked in an Indian bank account to press the ‘vulnerable’ singletons for cash, prosecutors said.

Monty Emu, 28, Eberechi Ekpo, 26, Adewunmi Nusi, 37, and Brooke Boston, 28, allegedly pocketed £220,000 from women they targeted. One woman paid them £174,000 in total, the court heard.

Opening the trial on Monday, prosecutor Simon Edwards said bogus Match.com accounts were set up to contact ‘emotionally vulnerable’ users.

One profile, for ‘James Richards’, described him as ‘very attractive’ and listed his height, build and hair colour.

Once they lured a woman they would exchange messages on the site and then move to text messages and email, where they were unmonitored, jurors heard.

The victims were told Mr Richards’ father had died and left him £1.5million. He asked them for £700 to help fund a trip to India to access it.

‘Mr Richards’ went on the trip but hit problems and needed more money to obtain a series of certificates and an affidavit to release his inheritance, the story went, with the sums ranging from £10,000 to £100,000.

‘Thundering Email’

The scam included a fictitious lawyer, Rod Thompson of ‘Quality Solicitors’, fake court documents and tax clearance certificates.

Mr Edwards said: ‘The operation of the conspiracy was fairly straightforward and its success depended on the trust and co-operation of the victims in this case.

‘It is fair to say – and I hope I do not do them a disservice in this – by and large the victims were financially vulnerable and also to an extent emotionally vulnerable.

‘The conspirators exploited their emotional vulnerability to ensure financial reward for them and those who laundered the money.’
Money was paid into bank accounts and transferred on, and cash was withdrawn around Portsmouth, Hampshire, Mr Edwards said.

Suzanne Hardman, of Basingstoke, Hampshire, handed over £174,000 in several payments after being contacted by ‘James Richards’ in March 2012.

She received messages saying she made him ‘feel like a complete man’ and another – referred to in court as the ‘thundering email’ – that told of ‘the love thundering into our hearts that only we can understand’.

Mrs Hardman broke down as she told the court how, having separated from her husband, she handed over her savings from the sale of her former marital home.

‘Certain things just didn’t seem right, but because I was led to believe that I was dealing with a solicitor it seemed fine, because he was taking care of the money – or so I thought,’ she said.

But not all women contacted fell for the group’s claims, and the scam eventually came unstuck, the court heard.

Mr Edwards said ‘elementary mistakes’ were made, such as a passport supposedly belonging to James Richards sent as proof giving his name as Richard James and an affidavit listed £1.5million ‘starling’ rather than sterling.

Boston, Emu and Ekpo, from Southsea, Hampshire, and Nusi, of Thatcham, Berkshire, deny money laundering between August 2012 and December 2013.

Boston and Ekpo deny committing fraud by false representation from March 1, 2012, and February 9 2014.

Boston’s husband Emmanuel Oko, 29, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to fraud and money laundering, and Chukwuka Ugwu, 28, has pleaded guilty to money laundering.

The trial will continue and it is set to last four weeks.

Ajudua Trial Resumes, Faces Fresh Arraignment On February 5

Alleged serial fraudster, Fred Ajudua, is to face a fresh arraignment on February 5, 2014, more than ten years after he was first arraigned in 2003 for fraud charges totalling about $1.69m. 

He will be arraigned before Justice Kudirat Jose of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja who has been assigned the case following the withdrawal of the former trial judge, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole.

Justice Oyewole’s withdrawal may not be unconnected with a petition written to the Economic and Financial Commission, EFCC, by a former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (Rtd).

In the petition, Lt.-Gen. Bamaiyi alleged that Ajudua and some others, swindled him of $8.395m on the pretext of helping him to secure his release from the Kirikiri Maximum Prison where he was remanded between November 2004 and June 2005.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that Ajudua and the others, who are said to be at large, had fraudulently claimed that $1m out of the total money collected from Bamaiyi was for financial assistance for the treatment of Justice Oyewole’s father.

Back in 2003, the EFCC had arraigned Ajudua and one other person before Justice Oyewole for allegedly defrauding two Dutch business men of about $1.69m between July 1999 and September 2000.

The prosecution had already called six witnesses in proof of the case against him before Ajudua absconded from trial in 2005. After a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, he voluntarily reappeared in 2013 and this time Justice Oyewole denied him bail.

He was eventually granted bail by the vacation judge, Justice Ganiyu Safari, and had not attended his trial before Justice Oyewole withdrew from the case.

The matter, which was then reassigned to Justice Jose, was fixed for re-arraignment today (January 28) but the proceedings were stalled owing to the absence of the prosecuting counsel, Mr. Wemimo Ogunde, and the second accused person in court. Ajudua and his counsel, Mr. Olalekan Ojo, were however present.

Channels Television’s Judiciary Correspondent, Shola Soyele, reports that another Lagos High Court judge, Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye has also fixed February 12 for the arraignment of Ajudua based on Bamaiyi’s petition to the EFCC.

A 13 count charge of fraud and conspiracy has already been made against Ajudua.

Sunrise Daily Highlights Memories of 2013

Sunrise Daily Host, Chamberlain Usoh on Wednesday morning gave a review of the major highlights, issues and episodes of the programme in 2013, including the Nigeria Governor’s Forum crisis in which two chairmen, Jonah Jang and Chibuike Amaechi, emerged following a controversial election which was held in May 2013.

According to a statement by Abia State Governor, Theodore Orji, the purported election that returned Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State as the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF) was a ruse.

Other issues highlighted were the return of Taraba state governor, Danbaba Suntai, who was deemed unfit to continue to hold office as a result of his health, alleged fabrications by the Abia state government on its various achievements which an investigative journalist challenged on the programme.

Finally, the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC) employment scam which led to an interview with the then Lagos State commandant, Obafaiye Shem. The interview with the officer, who was unable to state the official website of the agency, went viral online and produced the popular phrase, ‘Oga At The Top.”

EFCC To Arraign Ajudua For Defrauding Bamaiyi

A Lagos high court sitting in Ikeja has fixed February 12, 2014 for the arraignment of Mr. Fred Ajudua, for fresh charges of defrauding a former chief of army staff, Lt.-Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi (rtd.) of about $8.395million

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in the fresh charges dated October 14, 2013, alleged that Mr. Ajudua, along with others still at large, had committed the crime between November 2004 and June 2005.

Mr. Ajudua, along with other suspects, are said to have defrauded General Bamaiyi at the Kirikiri Maximum Prisons, where he and the other fraud suspects were on remand for various crimes.

The EFCC claims that the suspects had fraudulently collected the money from General Bamaiyi in parts, falsely claiming that the payments represented the professional fees charged by a legal practitioner, Afe Babalola (SAN) to handle Bamaiyi’s case in court and to facilitate his release from prison.

The anti-graft agency also alleged that Ajudua and others fraudulently claimed that $1m out of the total money collected from Bamaiyi was for financial assistance for the treatment of Justice Olubunmi Oyewole’s father.

Justice Oyewole was then presiding over Bamaiyi’s case in court.

Justice Ipaye of the Lagos High Court in Ikeja has adjourned till February 12 for the arraignment, ordering that a warrant of production should be served on the prison authority to produce Ajudua at the next hearing.

EFCC Arraigns 9 Suspected Internet Fraudsters In Benin

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned nine of the 20 suspected internet fraudsters arrested and handed over to the Commission by the Joint Task Force of the 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Benin.

The suspected Internet fraudsters in court

The suspects were arraigned before Justice A. M Liman of the Federal High Court 1, Benin on separate charges bordering on conspiracy to commit felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretence. They pleaded not guilty to the charges.

One of the charge reads in part; “that you Osaugwu Uchenna Kingsley (alias Sam Henric), Robinson Lucky (alias Justin Parker), Larry Edomwonyi (alias Mark Erixson), Amovie Mike (alias Jeffery Ares), Itua Samuel Robinson (alias Park Wetty, King Harry ), Iyen Oghodaro Destiny, Adesa Lucky Rute ( alias Peter Anderson, Eric Stern etc), Egbeifo John Endurance and Egbeniyi Oluwafemi ( alias Raymond Morrison, Mavis Mar) at No. 56 Siluko Road , Benin City within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did conspire with one Dennis Osagie and others now at large to commit felony to wit: obtaining money under false pretence and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 8(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006 and punishable under section 1(3) of the same Act”.

Justice Liman granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N1million each and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a civil servant and the other must own a landed property within the jurisdiction of court.

He ordered that the suspects be remanded in prison custody and adjourned to 4th, 13th and 19th of March respectively.

The suspected fraudsters were arrested on January 18, 2013 when men of the Joint Task Force, 4 Brigade, Benin in a surprise raid, stormed their cyber office tucked in an old building located on Siluko Road, Benin City. They were subsequently handed over to the Commission for further investigation and prosecution.

At the point of arrest, the fraudsters had in their possession forty five (45) laptops of different make, twenty eight (28) telephone sets, eight (8) internet mobile modems and one Nissan car with registration number USL 375 AG.

EFCC Arraigns 9 In Benin High Court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned nine persons accused of engaging in Advanced Fee Fraud also known as 419, at the Federal High Court in Benin City, Edo State.

The nine defendants were among 20 persons arrested at 56,  Siluko road Benin City by officers of the Joint Task Force led by the Four Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army last month.

Counsel to the accused persons, Barrister Olayiwola Afolabi made an oral application for bail which was not opposed by the prosecuting counsel Gabriel Edogbor provided the accused persons attend court proceedings.

Justice A. M. Leeman granted bail to the defendants  in the sum of N1Million and a surety each to guarantee their attendance to court proceedings.

Those paraded are Osuagwu Kingsley aka Sam Henric, Robinson Lucky aka Justin Parker, Larry Edomnwoyi aka Markus Erixson, Amowie Mike aka Jeffery Ares, Danice Osagie, Itua Robinson aka park Wetty, Iyen ighodaro destiny, Adesa Lucky aka Peter Anderson and Egbeifo John Endurance.

The case was adjourned to March 4 2013.

 

Court sentences UNILORIN student to 20 years imprisonment over internet scam

A Federal High Court, in Kaduna state has sentenced a 25 year old undergraduate of the University of Ilorin, Imonina Kingsley, to 20 years imprisonment on a four count of impersonation, possession of fraudulent documents and attempt to obtain money by false pretences.

The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Shuaibu, made the ruling in a suit filled against the student by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Kingsley is alleged to have under false pretence, obtained the sum of $1000 from one Mr. Christopher De Troy through the use of a scam letter via an email address [email protected]

According to the prosecuting counsel, the defendant has committed an offence contrary to Section 8(A) and punishable under Section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006.

The suspect who was arrested on April 4, 2008, during a special operation code-named, Operation Cyber Storm1 at Wave Network Net Cyber Café located along Pipeline Road, Tanke, Ilorin, Kwara State, used the false identity of Thomas Duke, a supposed gay from the United Kingdom with the email address given as [email protected] to send fraudulent mails with intent to defraud the unsuspecting victims.

In other instances, he also claimed to be one Muyiwa Akanbi, a Beninoise and Mary Jone.

In his confessional statement, Kingsley admitted that the email address: [email protected] belongs to him and that he is into the “business” to make money and pay his fees at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State where he was studying Geology and Mineral Sciences.

He also confessed that on February 12th, 2008, he sent an e-mail to Luis Barco, attaching a photograph of an unknown man which he downloaded from the internet and claimed to be a gay by the name Muyiwa Akanbi.

At another time, he mailed a message and presented himself to one Andrew Corrigan as a UK- born gay but based in Africa.

Another of his victim is Christopher De Troy of America, whom he hoodwinked into parting with $1,000 via Western Union when he presented himself as a gay from the Republic of Benin.

Mr Kingsley, who hails from Ndokwa East Local Government Area of Delta state, is to spend five years on each of the four count charges.

Other scammers

In another development, the EFCC has secured a conviction in the case involving Jacob Chinenye Isintume a.k.a. Prince Williams Mbeki who was charged to court on a three count of unlawful possession of documents of false pretence.

Justice L. Akanbi at the Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, convicted and sentenced Mr Isintume to seven years imprisonment without an option of fine, on two out of the three counts preferred against him.

Mr Isintume was arrested on January 2nd, 2012, at Ocabik Planet Hotel, off Stadium Road , Port Harcourt, Rivers State, by officers of the Intelligence Detachment Headquarters, JTF Operation Restore Hope.

At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of a laptop computer with various forged documents stored in it, as well as a superimposed image of himself on pictures of the former United States President, George W. Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Also, Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court sitting in Asaba, Delta State convicted and sentenced Paul Omokaro and Johnson Obi to three years imprisonment on each of a two counts of conspiracy and illegal dealing in petroleum products.

They were however given an option of N180, 000 fines on each count.

The court also ordered that the truck and the product they were arrested with be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Omokaro and Obi were arrested at Bomadi Army check-point in Delta State in a Truck conveying three Gee Pee tanks and some jerry cans containing 6,000 litres of automotive gas oil.

D’banj was a 419er – JJC (Skillz)

JJC (Skillz) has responded to Dbanj’s allegations that he cheated Don Jazzy while both of them were with the 419 Squad calling the “Koko master” a 419er (a name for fraudsters which was coined from section 419 of the Nigeria constitution dealing with laws on advance fee fraud and related matter).

Skillz who disclosed this in an interview with Nigezie (Video of the interview was published on social media site – Youtube) said that he was the brain behind the career of both Dbanj and Don Jazzy.

“Within my team, were people like Dbanj and … whatever other names were 419ers. And I didn’t accept it, that was why we had so many clashes,” he said.

He said the reason why the JJC and the 419 Squad wrote the ‘mobolowo’ was because at that time Dbanj “was running from the police.”