SFU Arrests Suspected Bank Thieves.Adunni Adetola
The Police Special Fraud Unit In Lagos Has arrested suspected criminals for forgery, stealing and perpetrating cyber attacks on banks.
According to a statement signed by SP Eyitayo Johnson revealed that the Suspects were arrested at different locations in the state following diligent investigation.
“On the 24th of June, 2022, after weeks of discrete investigation; operatives of Police Special Fraud Unit arrested one Odeleye Oluwabukola Moses, the MD/CEO of BEEDEL STRATEGIC INVESTMENT CO. NIGERIA LIMITED (hereafter referred to as BEEDEL) in connection with the forgery of Eleven (11) Local Purchase Orders (LPOs) of Five (5) multinational companies operating in Nigeria and One (1) Agency of the Federal Government.
“The suspect paraded himself on Social Media as a successful contractor with interest in Civil Engineering/Construction, Real Estate and Supply/Importation of Heavy Engineering Equipments.
“BEEDEL, as the suspect is popularly known, operates in connivance with former and current procurement staff of the companies whose LPOs was used to perpetuate the fraud.
“BEEDEL forged the LPOs of these companies/Government Agency and approached numerous Banks and Investment companies with proposal to finance the LPOs which he cleverly tenured to be paid between 30-60 days so as to make the LPO Financing appear juicy.
“The suspect, using this modus operandi, was able to fraudulently obtained the sum of Eight Hundred and Sixteen Million Naira (N816,000,000:00) from two Finance Companies and diverted same to fund extravagant lifestyles which includes building a mansion, office complex and purchase of exotic automobiles.
“Investigation revealed that for over 8-years, BEEDEL has mastered the art of using cloned LPOs to consecutively secure huge sums via LPO Financing from different Banks/Finance Companies while using monies from one Bank/Finance company to settle his commitments to another Bank/Finance company; so as to maintain the fraudulent cycle of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
“BEEDEL circumvented due diligence done by some of the Banks/Finance companies with the inputs of Procurement Staff of the companies whose LPOs were forged. These Procurement staff conspired with the suspect to confirm invalid LPOs to third parties.
“The suspect will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.
“On the 30th of March, 2022, the Commissioner of Police, Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), CP. Anyasinti Josephine Nneka, acting on useful Intelligence received from a leading New Generation Bank who is also a member of PSFU’s Stakeholders’ Forum; directed a sting operation to conduct surveillance and arrest of four (4) members of a cyber-fraud syndicate while in the final stages of recruiting a staff of Information & Technology Department (InfoTech) of the Bank in order to perfect the hacking of the Banks’ Network/Posting Application with intent to pull-out huge sums of money.
“Three (3) of the suspect were arrested with incriminating exhibits during meeting held with the Bank staff they attempted to recruit, while the fourth suspect, known only as ”Chibuzor Holland”, who flew into the country from France specifically for the operation; escaped.
The arrested members of the syndicate include Kehinde Oladimeji (52-years old and the mastermind), Olanrewaju Adeshina (47-years old) and Kolapo Stephen Abiodun (42-years old).
“Kolapo Stephen Abiodun who is an ex-staff of the Bank, attached to the InfoTech Department; contacted and attempted to recruit a current staff of the Bank’s InfoTech Department with an offer of Two Hundred Million Naira (N200,000,000:00) and VISA out of Nigeria.
“The staff was asked to leave critical gateways open on the Bank’s server for the syndicate to gain unauthorized access into the network and move money out using python application and Zoom.
“After the arrests, Forensic Analysis of phones and electronic devices found in their possession disclosed a list of ten (10) other Banks already earmarked to be hacked using similar method once the first attack is successful.
“Operatives also discovered personal and corporate Bank account details in the possession of the syndicate which they ought not to have.
“The case, Charge No. FHC/L/238C/2022; is currently being prosecuted before Honourable Justice P. O. Lifu of the Federal High Court, Lagos Judicial Division while effort is in top gear to apprehend Chibuzor Holland.
“On the 15th of April, 2022, the Unit was alerted to an imminent risk and possible hack of the server of a Non-Interest Financial institution (NIFI) located in Lagos.
“Investigation by Operatives attached to Banking and Informal Financial Fraud Section of the Unit revealed that between 3:45am and 4:55am on 9th March, 2022, there was unauthorized modification of profile of certain key staffers of the Bank which was done remotely.
“One of the log-in profiles affected is normally used by the Bank for ATM Card Issuance and review of ATM Charges.
“The modification was achieved by reactivating an already deactivated profile of an ex-staff who left the Banks’ employment in February, 2022. This profile was thereafter used to modify, view some active user’s profile, as well as delete some existing risk profiles in order to subject the Bank to fraudulent transactions.
“Investigation is on-going to identify the persons responsible for the hack while some of the staff initially alleged has been exonerated.
“Successful prosecution/appeals are as follows: The Defendant, an American-trained Surgeon, between 2015 – 2016, in Lagos, conspired with two others namely; Stephen AnekeIgwe (now deceased) and Kelechi Chetachi Emenike to fraudulently obtained nineteen (19) expensive smartphones and two (2) cameras valued at Thirty-Five Million Naira (N35,000,000.00) from Konga Online Shopping Limited, by false pretences.
“The Defendants were arraigned in 2016 before Honourable Justice Abdulazeez Anka of Federal High Court, Ikoyi for Conspiracy and Obtaining Property by False Pretences. They were charged under the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006.
“Judgement – On 14th February 2022, the Honurable Court found the Defendant guilty as charged and sentenced him to a total of twenty-seven (27) years imprisonment without an option of fine and ordered him to pay the money back to the victim of the fraud as restitution.
“The Appellant and 4 others were successfully prosecuted in 2019 before Honourable Justice I. N. Buba of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, for Conspiracy and Obtaining the sum of One Hundred and Eighty-Seven Million Naira (N187,000,000.00) from one Alh. Tayo Adeitan, by False Pretences.
The Appelant was convicted, sentenced to a total of twenty (20) years imprisonment without an option of fine and ordered to pay back the money to the victim of the fraud, as restitution.
“In the same 2019, he filed an appeal against his conviction and sentence. On 4th February, 2022, the Court of Appeal upheld the argument of Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), dismissed the appeal and affirmed the conviction and sentence.
“The Appellant herein, a corporate entity owned and operated by one Alh. Suleiman Yerima (now deceased); was used as a front to fraudulently obtain the sum of One Hundred and Fifty-Seven Million Naira (N157,000,000.00) from Dashad Bureau De Change Ltd, by False Pretences. In 2019, the Federal High Court convicted the company and sentenced it to a winding-up with all its assets/property forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria, as restitution.
“APPEAL: In 2020, the company appealed the judgement. However, on the 4th of February, 2022, the Court of Appeal, Lagos, upheld the arguments of the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), dismissed the said appeal and affirmed the conviction and sentence of the Appellant.
“APPEAL: The Appelant and its alter-egos; MfonIni Unam and Uwem Antia, conspired together and used the Appellant as a Sham Company, to obtain the sum of Three Hundred and Seventy Million Naira (N370,000,000.00) from Alh. Tayo Adeitan by False Pretences.
The company was convicted and sentenced to a winding-up while all its assets were forfeited to the Federal Government, as restitution.
“APPEAL: In 2020, the company appealed the judgement. On the 18th of February, 2022, the Court of Appeal, Lagos, upheld Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) arguments against the appeal, dismissed same and unanimously affirmed the conviction and sentence of the Appellant.” the statement read.