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SFU Operatives Arrest Couple Over N51m Fraud

OSAS EMMANUEL

Operatives of  Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Milverton, Ikoyi, Lagos, have arrested one Ewere George Osas, a 62 year-old native of Edo State and his wife; for alleged offences bordering on conspiracy, cyber fraud/business e-mail compromise, criminal conversion/diversion and stealing the sum of Fifty-one million, nine hundred and seventy-four thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine naira (N51,974,999.99).

The arrest follows a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police, Police Special Fraud Unit, by the Law Firm of Athan Ogbulie & Co., alleging diversion of the aforesaid sum during inter-bank wire transfer of the funds. The suspects and members of the syndicate targeted and compromised the e-mail accounts of businesses that frequently make wire payments and waited for the right time to substitute the original account that should receive the money.

According to the suspect, the hack which happened in February 2022, was achieved by spoofing the victim company’s e-mail account/website, which makes it possible to carry out slight variations to the legitimate e-mail address of the company, in order to fool the victim into thinking the fake accounts are authentic.

Spear phishing e-mails were also sent to the company to gain access to company accounts, calendars and data.

Some of the monies which were diverted into accounts belonging to the suspect, his wife and daughter in five different banks have been recovered as exhibit, while effort is on to locate the rest of the funds and other members of the syndicate. Part of the money was also discovered to have been withdrawn via POS and ATM at different locations.

The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

Consequently, the Commissioner of Police, Police Special Fraud Unit; CP. Anyasinti Josephine Nneka, advised individuals and businesses to take note of the following precautions in order to mitigate against BEC: Be careful of information shared online (e.g. pet names, birthday, etc).  Don’t click on anything in an unsolicited e-mail/SMS asking you to update or verify account information.

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