The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, Ikoyi, Lagos, has arrested a 29-year-old man, Henry Ogu, for allegedly defrauding an American citizen (name withheld) of N52.5m ($350000).
His accomplice, 42-year-old Yunusa Okonkwo, was also arrested in connection with the fraud.
A statement by the SFU Police Public Relations Officer DSP Ngozi Isintume-Agu, said the unit had received a petition via email from Ogu’s victims.
It read, “The victim, a US citizen resident in New Jersey, alleged that sometime in April 2013, she met Ogu on a dating site and both started a relationship which lasted for months until the suspect manipulated and made her to believe that he was in financial trouble in Nigeria.
“She further stated that she sent $350,000.00 to the two account numbers that Ogu provided. The account numbers were Skye Bank Account Number 36204796 and Ecobank account No. 04087350 belonging to Faneece Business Services International.”
Police investigation reportedly revealed that the account belonged to Okonkwo of No. A1 Giwa Road, U/Muazu, Kaduna, where he was subsequently arrested. Upon his arrest, Okonkwo was said to have led police detectives to apprehend Ogu, the principal suspect.
The statement added that Okonkwo, a native of Amuri Nkanu West LGA of Enugu State, was a patent medicine dealer and also ran a Bureau De Change.
It said, “Okonkwo confessed that he was the account holder of Faneece Business Services International and admitted that he had provided his two bank accounts for the illicit transactions.
“He also said Ogu had provided him with his account number, where he transferred the money after converting it to naira. He gave Ogu’s account details as Diamond Bank account No. 0021206871 with account name Raydeus Synergy Nigeria Limited.
“Okonkwo added that he had deducted his commission of N2 per dollar before paying the money to Ogu.”
A native of Amafor – Ishingwa Umuahia, Abia State, Ogu allegedly claimed to be one of the Directors of Raydeus Synergy Nigeria Limited. He was said to have confessed to the alleged crime; he had sent Okonkwo’s account details to the victim who in turn paid the sum of $295,000.00 into the account which Okonkwo converted to naira before paying into his Diamond Bank account.
Ogu also corroborated the victim’s statement that they had met on a dating site in January 2013 and started communicating via e-mails.
The statement said, “Ogu confessed that he deceived the victim into believing that he wanted to marry her, but was stranded in Nigeria and needed financial assistance. He said that he had spent all the money; N9m was used to purchase a heavy duty generator which has been recovered by the police. He had also purchased a plot of land for N800,000 along the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway. A cash sum of N2m was also recovered from him.
“Investigation is ongoing. Effort is being intensified towards the recovery of the remaining money that was fraudulently obtained from the complainant or its proceeds. Suspects will be charged to court to serve as a deterrent to others.
“The Commissioner of Police, SFU, Mr. Umar Idris, uses this medium to reassure the public of the Unit’s commitment to fight internet fraudsters and advises that such cases should be promptly reported to the unit.”