- Meet the six Nigerians declared wanted by the FBI.
The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has declared six Nigerians most wanted for cyber crimes, involving a $6 million swindle of over 70 U.S. businesses.
They are Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh, Michael Olorunyomi, Nnamdi Orson Benson, Alex Afolabi Ogunsakin, Felix Osilama Okpoh and Abiola Ayorinde Kayode.
The six of them are accused of executing a business email compromise scheme that defrauded over 70 different businesses in the United States, resulting in combined losses of over $6 million.
Uzuh, who appears to be the leader of the gang, was indicted on 18 October 2016, in the US district court of Nebraska, Omaha, on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Uzuh and his co-conspirators sent spoofed emails to thousands of U.S. businesses, requesting fraudulent wire transfers. Uzuh allegedly worked with money launderers, romance scammers and others involved in BEC schemes to launder the proceeds of other crimes through a complex network of witting and unwitting people in the U.S. and abroad.
On 19 October, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest. He has been in hiding since then, somewhere in Nigeria.
Okpoh who was indicted three years later was accused of providing hundreds of bank accounts to Uzuh and other co-conspirators.
The accounts were reportedly used to receive fraudulent wire transfers running into $1million. Okpoh was indicted on 21 August with a warrant of arrest issued on 22 August.
Afolabi Ogunshakin, was similarly accused of providing bank accounts to Uzuh and his gang, to receive the fraudulent wire transfer.
Ogunshakin reportedly caught the bug of fraud, by staging his own BEC, after being an apprentice to Uzuh and others. He was also indicted on 21 August and a warrant for his arrest was issued on 22 August.
Abiola Ayorinde Kayode was accused of providing bank accounts to Uzuh. He was accused of conducting BEC and romance scams of his own.
He was indicted on the same day with Ogunshakin and Okpoh.
Nnamdi Orson Benson was accused of making bank accounts available to the gang and reportedly perpetrated his own scams too.
Michael Olorunyomi a member of the six-man gang was accused of targeting vulnerable elders and widows in his scams.
He reportedly defrauded his victims of more than $1million. He also helped the Uzuh group in providing bank accounts of his victims to be used for fraudulent wire transfers from other victims.
He was indicted on 13 November 2019 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, identity theft and access device fraud. A warrant for his arrest was issued on 14 November.
All the wanted Nigerians are believed to be living in Nigeria and are hiding.
The FBI has urged whistleblowers to contact their Omaha, Nebraska field office, any local FBI office or the American embassy with useful information that will lead to their arrest.