The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) has arrested two Nigerian suspects for alledgedly defrauding a Germany company of €14.7 million in a COVID-19 related scam.
The Cybercrime Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, INTERPOL, National Central Bureau, Abuja, disclose this in a statement issued on Sunday.
The suspects identified as Babatunde Adesanya, 50, and Akinpelu Hassan Abass, 41, were accused of cloning the corporate website of ILBN Holdings BV, Holland, to defraud one Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn, a representative of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
“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 mischiefs to defraud unsuspecting members of the public across the world,” Nigerian police said in a statement.
The arrest was made after a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) received by the Bureau from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the police authorities said.
The police authorities said the treaty contained 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.
“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 14.7million Euros,” the police said.
“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.”
The police said Fredrick 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 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.