An aluminium fabricator, Adedamola Olafinranye, was on Thursday paraded by the Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi, Lagos, for allegedly defrauding a United States citizen, Jac Spradling, of $42, 497 (N6,587035).
Two other suspects, Emmanuel Shonubi, and Ahneed Modupeola, were also paraded for defrauding a customer (name withheld) of Fidelity Bank of N5m.
Olafinranye was arrested after an intelligence report from the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, Abuja, was sent to the SFU Commissioner of Police, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin.
It was alleged that the suspect had through suspicious circumstances received payment of the amount through his domiciliary account with Demunrin, Ketu, Lagos branch of Sterling Bank.
The payments were said to have been made between August 13, 2013 and September 16, 2013, while the suspected illicit inflows were said to have been followed by immediate cash withdrawals by Olafinranye.
PUNCH Metro gathered that SFU operatives traced Olafinranye to his Agidi Road, Alapere, Ketu residence, but he reportedly evaded arrest.
Ogunsaking confirming the incident said, “Although Olafinranye trained as an aluminum fabricator, he is a driving instructor at his father’s moribund driving school in Ketu. He posed as a woman online, going by the name of Janet to win Spradling’s friendship. He has confessed to the crime and investigations are on-going to contact his victim.”
Olafinranye, however, denied defrauding Spradling and claimed that he was paid the amount to purchase a house at Ogba for his victim.
He said, “I met Spradling in Malaysia when I travelled three months ago. Janet Kihr is also a friend of mine on the Facebook; I introduced both of them. After I returned to Nigeria, unknown to Janet, I took one of her pictures from her Facebook account and with that, began to communicate with Spradling. I communicated with him regularly for three months before he sent the money to help purchase a house for him at Ogba. Janet Kihr had no idea, however, that I was using her identity.”
Meanwhile, Shonubi was said to have received the N5m on November 5, 2013, after a fraudulent email was sent to the account officer of the Fidelity Bank customer.
Ogunsakin said, “We received a petition on November 11, 2013, from Fidelity Bank, that a customer had sent an email to his account officer on November 5, to transfer N10m to his personal account at Standard Chartered Bank.
“Although the customer told his account officer that he intended to transfer another sum of money, he did not specify the amount.
“Later in the day, another email came purportedly from the same customer, directing the account officer to transfer N5m to Efad Venture account owned by Shonubi, domiciled at Wema Bank Plc.”
PUNCH Metro gathered that the second email did not originate from the bank customer, but from fraudsters, who had hacked into his email. Upon receiving the money, Shonubi was said to have transferred N2m to Modupeola for the purchase of a vehicle.
Advising the public to be wary of Internet scams, Ogunsakin added, “There is a trend going on now whereby fraudsters hack into the websites of notable organisations and parade themselves as employers of labour.
“Under this guise, they would advertise for vacancy in their establishment and extort huge sums from prospective applicants. The public should be wary of such advertisements and crosscheck any offer of employment with the company before making payment for application processing.”
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