National Central Bureau, Abuja have arrested three suspects; Samson Inegbenesun, 30; Blessed Junior, 32; and Muhammed Zakari, 36, all male from Uromi in Edo State for cyber-related offences, including advance fee fraud, money laundering and romance scam. The Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner of Police Frank Mba, confirmed the development in a statement on Sunday. The suspects were arrested in Uromi following investigations into suspected fraudulent online procurement and supply of COVID-19 protective mask, received through the INTERPOL NCB Wiesbaden, Germany. Investigations revealed that Samson Inegbenosun is an internet fraudster and a member of a Turkey-based online scamming syndicate. He supplies foreign and local bank accounts to receive fraudulent funds and use same as conduit to other feeder accounts.

 Meanwhile, the Police have recovered from him a building apartment worth N20 million, a Toyota RAV-4 2015 model worth N6.5 million and a Toyota Matrix 2002 model valued at N2 million, which he procured with the proceeds of the crime. The second suspect, Blessed Junior, returned to Nigeria from Italy in February 2020, but maintains close contacts and illicit dealings with his Italian associates. Investigations revealed that he has made over N120 million from internet fraud and other cybercrime dealings. He also received 52,000 EUROs recently from his criminal associates in Italy as commission for his active involvement in an international cybercrime deal.

 He also owns a filling station established with the proceeds of the crime. Mohammed Zakari, an expert in internet fraud, identity theft and impersonation, falsely claims to be a British citizen. He also poses to be one Kelly Galk on online dating apps, which he uses to carry out romance scams and to defraud unsuspecting members of the public, locally and internationally. Investigation revealed he has made millions of naira from his illicit cybercrime transactions since he joined the syndicate. In a similar development, Police operatives have successfully rescued an American citizen who was confined in a Lagos hotel where she was held against her wish for over a year.

 The victim, who hails from Washington DC, USA and is a retired civil servant in the US, arrived Nigeria on February 13, 2019 on a visit to one Chukwuebuka Kasi Obiaku, 34, a native of Ikeduru LGA of Imo State, whom she met on Facebook. She was however rescued by Police operatives attached to the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team, Ogun State Annex, following information received from a patriotic and civic minded Nigerian in the Meran area of Lagos State.