By Esther Okafor
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arrested an internet fraud group which specializes in impersonating influential Nigerians and duping foreigners.
The EFCC, in a statement by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren said the seven suspects including a serving corps member were arrested in Port Harcourt for duping foreigners of over N30m.
The suspects were accused of impersonating the immediate past Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde; the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun; a former Attorney-General of the Federation, Bello Adoke (SAN); and the current AGF, Abubakar Malami (SAN).
The EFCC said one of the suspects, Promise Nwalozie, allegedly posed as Lamorde using the former EFCC chairman’s identity card to send scam mails to foreigners, mostly Europeans and Americans and in the process extorted sizeable amount of foreign currencies from them.
The statement read in part, “Besides, he also posed as Barrister Peter Jackson, a spurious lawyer working with the National Judicial Council. As a ‘lawyer’, he was allegedly defrauding his victims by assuring them that he would help in the recovery of money lost to different Nigerian cyber fraudsters. To do this, Jackson was collecting various sums of money as service charges from his victims. Some of his victims are: Betty. G. E, an American and Georgina M, an Australian.
“In addition to all these, Nwalozie had multifarious electronic scam documents in various folders in his email box, ostensibly for the payment of a spurious N12,500,000 to one Robert Giese, an American, by the ‘Office of the Presidency, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abuja.’
“To further deceive Giese, he swore to a fictitious ‘Affidavit of claim of Federal High Court of Nigeria’ deposed to by a fake Justice Ibrahim Auta, OFR, on behalf of Giese. The ‘affidavit’ was signed by a former AGF, Bello Adoke. To achieve his fraudulent schemes, he had several e-mail addresses such as:[email protected], [email protected], [email protected] among others.”
The anti-graft agency also arrested one Prosper Onukagba who is a youth corps member serving in the Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Onukagba was allegedly involved in online dating scam, also known as romance scam. According to the EFCC, he defrauded unsuspecting foreign widows, mostly from Europe and America.