Interpol has arrested two Nigerians – Babatunde Adesanya a.k.a Teddy and Akinpelu Abass – over their roles in a €14.7m fraud.
The duo reportedly scammed a German, Freiherr Hahn, under the pretence of supplying him COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment.
Fifty-year-old Adesanya, a Masters degree holder in Cell Biology, and Abass, 41, the Managing Director, Musterpoint Investment Nigeria Ltd, were found to be members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network.
They reportedly cloned the corporate website of ILBN Holdings BV, Holland, to defraud their victim – Freiherr Hahn, a representative of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.
“Discrete investigations by INTERPOL Nigeria revealed that the suspects and their Holland-based cohorts, one Eduardus Boomstra and Geradius Maulder specialised in identity theft, cyber-stalking, cloning of corporate websites amongst other cyber mischiefs to defraud unsuspecting members of the public across the world,” Nigerian police disclosed in a statement on Sunday.
The arrest was made following a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) received by the Bureau from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, the police authorities said.
The treaty contained 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.
“The suspects fraudulently obtained from Mr Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn the sum of 1.5m Euro and another €880,000 as advance payment for the supply of COVID-19 PPEs valued at €14.7million,” the police said.
“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 police said Fredrick 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.
Investigations by INTERPOL Nigeria revealed that Adesanya received €498,000 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.
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