Police nab two for defrauding German firm of €14.7 mln
The Nigeria Police Cybercrime Unit has arrested two suspects for alleged involvement in €14.7 million COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment contract scam.
The suspects, Babatunde Adesanya a.k.a Teddy, 50, a Masters degree holder in Cell Biology and Akinpelu Abass, 41, the Managing Director, Musterpoint Investment Nigeria Ltd, were found to be members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network, according to the Force, Interpol National Central Bureau, Abuja.
The suspects were alleged to have cloned the corporate website of ILBN Holdings BV, Holland, to defraud one Freiherr Hahn, a representative of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
The arrest of the suspects following the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty received by the NCB from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami conveying a request from the German Government for an investigation into a fraudulent transaction on the procurement of COVID-19 PPEs linked to a Nigerian-based bank account.
Discrete investigations by Interpol Nigeria revealed that the suspects and their Holland-based cohorts, one 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.
In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba, the suspects fraudulently obtained from Hahn the sum of €1.5 million and another €880,000 as advanced payment for the supply of COVID-19 PPEs valued at €14.7 million.
Disturbed by the non-arrival of the PPEs, Hahn eventually visited the corporate office of ILBN Holdings BV in Holland to know the reason 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 Police said that the fraudsters cloned the company’s website and falsely presented themselves as representatives of the firm before executing the fraudulent transaction.
Hahn consequently reported the case of fraud to the police in Holland and this led to the arrest of Boomstra and Maulder while the investigation was extended to Nigeria.
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Further investigation by Interpol Nigeria further revealed that Adesanya received €498,000 from Boomstra and Maulder through his Citibank London account and transferred the same to an account number domiciled with a Lagos branch of a leading commercial bank in Nigeria belonging to Musterpoint Investment Nig. Ltd.
T“While commending the Commissioner of Police, Interpol, Garba Umar and operatives of Interpol Nigeria, Cybercrime Unit, for a job well done, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, assures members of the public and the international community of the commitment of the Force to tackling cybercrimes and other transnational crimes. He reiterates that there will be no hiding place for internet fraudsters in the country.” The police stated that the suspects would be arraigned soon.