A 26 year old serial internet fraudster, Olaniyi Victor Makinde who is top on the wanted list of the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI has been arrested in Akure, the Ondo state capital by Nigeria’s anti-graft police, EFCC.
A source in FBI had hinted iReports that Makinde who is also known as Olaniyi Jones and Andrea Bradley was wanted by the San Francisco Division of the FBI. According to the source, the US government viewed the activities of Makinde seriously and as such had to send three FBI agents including a supervisory special agent and two special agents, to Nigeria last quarter to meet with their Nigerian counterparts over the arrest of the fraudster.
The fraudster was eventually arrested on September 6 last year. iReports learnt that the FBI agents were also joined by another official of the US consulate Lagos to obtain statements from Makinde when he was eventually arrested by EFCC operatives ahead of their request for his extradition to the US to face trial with some of his American accomplices in the serial fraud. The Nigerian authorities were said to have reached an agreement with the FBI agents to prosecute Makinde in Nigeria before considering handing him over to the US government. He was said to have been arraigned before a high court judge in Akure on
November 26 last year over a $620,225.04 fraud and later remanded at a prison custody in the state capital.
It was however drama galore on Tuesday, January 11, when the 26-year old internet fraudster already in custody at the Olokuta medium prison, Akure , was docked again by EFCC, over a fresh $150,000 scam. The fraudster, Olaniyi Victor Makinde, a fresh graduate of the University of Ado Ekiti , was docked at an Akure High Court presided by Justice A.O Adebusuyi on a 14 count charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence and stealing. In his first arraignment before Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi of the same Court, nine count charges were preferred against him also bordering on stealing and obtaining money by false pretence. He allegedly obtained a total of $620,225.04 from two Americans: Marilou Sibbaluca and John Massoni in a marriage scam. However, the accused pleaded not guilty to all the charges preferred against him. Trouble started for Makinde when investigations revealed that he had been defrauding several foreigners, especially Americans in marriage scam and related offences, through the internet. He was also accused of masterminding serious hacking practices against an American online pay roll services company, Intuit, in California .
When the latest 14 count charges were read to him, he pleaded not guilty to them. The defence counsel, Mr. A.A. Adetunji, thereafter made an oral application for bail which was successful. The judge granted the accused bail in the sum of N20million with two sureties in like sum who must swear to an affidavit of means of livelihood and with landed property in Akure. He also granted the prosecution’s prayer for the accelerated hearing of the case. The Judge added that during the trial he would not entertain any frivolous application meant to delay the trial and he threatened to revoke the bail granted the accused if there was any delay. He therefore adjourned the case to February 21 -25 for trial. The accused person has not been granted bail on the initial charges preferred against him. Justice Adebusuyi reserved ruling on the
bail application till January 18
Makinde finished with second class honours in Economics from UNAD. He started his 419 heist early 2009 while he was still an undergraduate. He and other members of his gang who are now at large went to a dating site on the internet and started chatting with some American ladies and men who fell prey to their 419 scheme. Depending on the sex of his victim, Makinde sometimes presented himself as an American woman looking for a husband and to make assurance doubly sure, he would download a beautiful picture of an American lady from the internet and sent it to the victim as his picture. If the victim is a woman he would do the exact opposite. This way, Makinde had been fleecing his victims until the game was up for him.
In some instances, he had presented himself as someone from a wealthy home and introduced a phony business to the victims and invited them to be his partners. Sometimes, he presented himself as an indigent lady needing help and support. With these kinds of stories, many people fell victim and lost thousands of dollars to the syndicate.
But the long arm of the law caught up with him mid last year when some of the victims petitioned the EFCC through the FBI. The operatives were said to have swung to action immediately and within a short time, he was traced to Akure where he resides. He was caught with different incriminating documents and several fake identity cards bearing foreign names which he was using to defraud people. During interrogation, he confessed to the crime but added that he was not the only person involved and that the ring leader had traveled to Holland . He admitted that he collected only N2.5million from the proceeds and admitted his parents and siblings was not aware of him being a fraudster.