The Nigerians are Babatunde Adesanya a.k.a Teddy, a 50-year-old Master Degree holder in Cell Biology, and Akinpelu Hassan Abass, 41 years-old, who is the CEO of Musterpoint Investment Nig. Ltd. Both are graduates of the University of Lagos.
They were arrested by the Cybercrime Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, INTERPOL, and National Central Bureau based in Abuja, after stealing €2,388,000( about N1, 078, 527, 060.03 ) from the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
According to the Nigerian Police, the two Nigerians are members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network.
Babatunde Adesanya, Akinpelu Hassan Abass, and their gang cloned the corporate website of ILBN Holdings BV, Holland to transact with and defraud one Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn, a representative of the North Rhine-Westphalia state in Germany.
The arrest of the suspects was a sequel to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) received by the Bureau from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice conveying 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.
Discrete investigations by INTERPOL Nigeria revealed that the suspects and their Holland-based cohorts, one Eduardus Boomstra and Geradius Maulder specialized in identity theft, cyber-stalking, cloning of corporate websites amongst other cybercrimes to defraud unsuspecting members of the public across the world.
“In this instance, 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.
“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 fraudsters merely cloned the company’s website and falsely presented themselves as representatives of the company before subsequently executing the fraudulent transaction.
“Consequently, he 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 further 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 in Nigeria belonging to Musterpoint Investment Nig. Ltd.
The Inspector General of Police has commended the Commissioner of Police, INTERPOL, CP Garba Baba Umar and operatives of INTERPOL Nigeria, Cybercrime Unit for a job well done.
According to Police spokesman, Frank Mba, IGP Adamu, has given assurance to members of the public and the international community of the commitment of the Force to tackling cybercrimes and other transnational crimes.