Two Nigerians Arrested For 14.7m Euros Fraud Involving German Firm
The Cybercrime Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, INTERPOL, National Central Bureau, Abuja has arrested two suspects for their complicity in a major multi-million Euro scam touching on procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frank Mba, revealed this in a statement on Sunday.
The suspects, Babatunde Adesanya, aka Teddy, a 50-year-old Master degree holder in Cell Biology, and Akinpelu Hassan Abass, 41, the Managing Director of Musterpoint Investment Nigeria Limited, who are members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network, cloned the corporate website of ILBN Holdings BV, Holland to transact with and defraud one Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn, a representative of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The arrest of the suspects was sequel to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty received by the Bureau from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, conveying a request from the German Government for investigations into a fraudulent transaction on the procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment linked to a Nigerian-based Bank Account.
Discrete investigations by INTERPOL Nigeria revealed that the suspects and their Holland-based cohorts, Eduardus Boomstra and Geradius Maulder, specialized in identity theft, cyber-stalking, cloning of corporate websites amongst other cyber mischiefs to defraud unsuspecting members of the public across the world.
Mba said in this instance, the suspects fraudulently obtained from Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn the sum of 1.5m Euro and another 880,000 Euro as advanced payment for the supply of COVID-19 PPEs valued at 14.7 million Euros.
Disturbed by the non-arrival of the PPEs, Hahn eventually visited the corporate office of ILBN Holdings BV in Holland to inquire about the reasons for the delay in supplying the items only to find out that the company never did business with him and that the transaction was a scam.
The fraudsters merely cloned the company’s website and falsely presented themselves as representatives of the company before subsequently executing the fraudulent transaction, Mba added.
Consequently, Hahn reported the case of fraud to the Police in Holland and this led to the arrest of Boomstra and Maulder in Holland and investigations extended to Nigeria.
Investigation by INTERPOL Nigeria further revealed that Adesanya received 498,000 Euros from Eduardus Boomstra and Geradius Maulder through his Citibank London account and transferred same to an account number domiciled with a Lagos branch of a leading commercial bank in Nigeria belonging to Musterpoint Investment Nigeria Limited.
While commending the Commissioner of Police, INTERPOL, Garba Baba Umar, and operatives of INTERPOL Nigeria, Cybercrime Unit for a job well done, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, assured members of the public and the international community of the commitment of the Force to tackling cyber crimes and other transnational crimes.
Adamu reiterated that there will be no hiding place for internet fraudsters in the country. Mba said rhe suspects will be arraigned before a competent court of law soon.