TWO Nigerians have been arrested by a joint team of local security services and Interpol for involvement in a Covid-19 scam and defrauding a German firm of €14.7m in a massive scam that involved identity theft and cloning corporate websites.
In a significant operation that involved the Abuja Command of the Nigerian Police Force, Interpol and the National Central Bureau, two men, 50-year-old Babatunde Adesanya, also known as Teddy and 41-year-old Akinpelu Hassan Abass, were arrested. They were picked up 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.
Apparently, the two men specialised in identity theft, cyber-stalking and the cloning of corporate websites to defraud unsuspecting members of the public across the world. According to the police, their latest scam involved defrauding the German firm in relation to the procurement of Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE).
An NPF spokesman said: “The suspects, Babatunde Adesanya aka Teddy, 50 years old Masters degree holder in Cell Biology and Akinpelu Hassan Abass, 41years old, the managing director of Musterpoint Investment who are members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network, cloned the corporate website of ILBN Holdings, 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 conveying a request from the German government for investigations into a fraudulent transaction on the procurement of Covid-19 PPE 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 specialised in identity theft, cyber-stalking, cloning of corporate websites amongst other cyber mischief 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 and another €880,000 as advanced payment for the supply of Covid-19 PPEs valued at €14.7m.
“Disturbed by the non-arrival of the PPEs, Mr Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn eventually visited the corporate office of ILBN Holdings 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 and investigations extended to Nigeria.
“Investigation by Interpol Nigeria further revealed that Babatunde Adesanya received €498,000 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. Meanwhile, the suspects will be arraigned before a competent court of law soon.”