Reports reaching our newsroom has it that two Nigerians have been arrested by the men of the cybercrime unit of the Nigerian Police, Abuja, INTERPOL and National Central Bureau for involvement in a coronavirus (COVID-19) scam and defrauding a German firm of €14.7 million.
The Nigerian Police Force in a statement on Sunday said the two men, 50-year-old Babatunde Adesanya, also known as Teddy and 41-year-old Akinpelu Hassan Abass, were arrested following information that they were members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network which defrauded one Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn, a representative of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
According to the statement, the two men specialided in identity theft, cyber-stalking, cloning of corporate websites amongs other cyber mischief to defraud unsuspecting members of the public across the world. The statement by the Nigerian Police reads: “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. The scam touches on procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
“The suspects, Babatunde Adesanya a.k.a Teddy, 50 years old Master degree holder in Cell Biology and Akinpelu Hassan Abass, 41years old, the M.D Musterpoint Investment 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 (MLAT) received by the Bureau from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice 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, 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 this instance, the suspects fraudulently obtained from Mr 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, Mr Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn eventually visited the corporate office of ILBN Holdings BV in Holland to inquire 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.
“Consequently, he reported the case of fraud to the Police in Holland and this led to the arrest of Eduardus Boomstra and Geradius Maulder in Holland and investigations extended to Nigeria.
“Investigation by INTERPOL Nigeria further revealed that Babatunde Adesanya received 498,000 Euro 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 Nig. Ltd. “Meanwhile, the suspects will be arraigned before a competent court of law soon.”