40-Year Old Criminal Arrested By EFCC Over $60m Worldwide Online Scam




“The two main types of scam run by the 40-year-old were
payment dsion fraud and CEO Fraud”


The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
has arrested one 40-year old Mike, the head of an
international criminal network who is behind thousands of
online scam which is said to be more than $60m.
The EFCC made this known in a statement by the EFCC on
Monday, stating that the arrest was made in a joint
operation with INTERPOL.
The reads statement: “In one case a target was conned into
paying $15.4m.
“The network compromised email accounts of small to
medium businesses around the world, including in
Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Romania, South Africa,
Thailand and the US, with the financial victims mainly other
companies dealing with these compromised accounts.
“Heading a network of at least 40 individuals across
Nigeria, Malaysia and South Africa, which both provided
malware and carried out the frauds, the alleged
mastermind also had money laundering contacts in China,
Europe and the US who provided bank account details for
the illicit cash flow.
“Following his arrest in Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria, a
forensic examination of devices seized by the EFCC
showed he had been involved in a range of criminal
activities including business e-mail compromise (BEC) and
romance scams.
“The main two types of scam run by the 40-year-old
targeted businesses were payment diversion fraud – where
a supplier’s email would be compromised and fake
messages would then be sent to the buyer with instructions
for payment to a bank account under the criminal’s control
– and ‘CEO fraud’.
“In CEO fraud, the email account of a high-level executive
is compromised and a request for a wire transfer is sent to
another employee who has been identified as responsible
for handling these requests. The money is then paid into a
designated bank account held by the criminal.
“Mike first came onto the law enforcement radar through a
report provided to INTERPOL by Trend Micro, one of its
strategic partners at the INTERPOL Global Complex for
Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore. This, combined with
actionable analysis and intelligence from Fortinet
Fortiguard Labs in 2015, enabled specialists at the
INTERPOL Digital Crime Centre, including experts from
Cyber Defense Institute based at the IGCI, and the EFCC to
locate the suspect in Nigeria, resulting in his arrest in
June.”
Abdul Chukkol, head of the EFCC Cybercrime section, said
that the transnational nature of business e-mail
compromise makes it complex to crack, but the arrest sent
a clear signal that Nigeria could not be considered a safe
haven for criminals.
“For a long time we have said in order to be effective, the
fight against cybercrime must rely on public-private
partnerships and international cooperation.
“The success of this operation is the result of close
cooperation between INTERPOL and the EFCC, whose
understanding of the Nigerian environment made it
possible to disrupt the criminal organization’s network
traversing many countries, targeting individuals and
companies”.
The 40-year-old, along with a 38-year-old also arrested by
Nigerian authorities, faces charges including hacking,
conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences.
Both are currently on administrative bail as the
investigation continues.

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