5:08 pm - Thursday February 22, 6396

TOTAL WAR AGAINST INTERNET SCAM IN OPERATION WIRE WIRE: American Govt, FBI Arraign NIGERIAN Man, TAIWO MUSILIUDEEN IDRIS for FRAUD…accused of conspiring with four other convicts to launder more than $411,000 in real estate proceeds *Apprehended on May 30 in Lagos by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission * Arrest is part of a six-month federal law enforcement effort that involved the Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury departments and the U.S. Postal Service *FACTS: “During a two-week period of “intensified” activity, there have been 74 arrests in the U.S., 29 in Nigeria, three in Canada, Mauritius and Poland”-U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, GINA OKOYE/CRIME EDITOR & TONY IDEMUDIA/ANTI-GRAFT REPORTER, ABUJA

TOTAL WAR AGAINST INTERNET SCAM IN OPERATION WIRE WIRE:
American Govt, FBI Arraign NIGERIAN Man, TAIWO MUSILIUDEEN IDRIS for FRAUD…accused of conspiring with four other convicts to launder more than $411,000 in real estate proceeds
*Apprehended on May 30 in Lagos by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission
* Arrest is part of a six-month federal law enforcement effort that involved the Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury departments and the U.S. Postal Service
*FACTS: “During a two-week period of “intensified” activity, there have been 74 arrests in the U.S., 29 in Nigeria, three in Canada, Mauritius and Poland”-U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/AMERICAN FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, GINA OKOYE/CRIME EDITOR & TONY IDEMUDIA/ANTI-GRAFT REPORTER, ABUJA

TAIWO MUSILIUDEEN IDRIS, A NIGERIAN INTERNET FRAUDSTER ARRESTED BY NIGERIA’S ANTI-GRAFT AGENCY, ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRIMES COMMISSION, EFCC on May 30, 2018 has landed in Pittsburgh, United States of America where he is currently facing the court in a six-month federal law enforcement effort dubbed ‘Operation Wire Wire’ that involved the Justice, Homeland Security, Treasury departments and the U.S. Postal Service.

Idris was arrested by EFCC for conspiring, orchestrating with four other convicted or accused scammers — Ismail Shitu, Nathaneal Nyamekye, Adnan Ibrahim and Akintayo Bolorunduro — to launder more than $411,000 in real estate settlement proceeds from a real estate transaction involving a Rockville, Md.

American Federal authorities in Pittsburgh announced Monday the arrest of a Nigerian man charged with conspiring to commit money laundering as part of a “business email compromise” scheme, a type of fraud that often targets senior citizens.

Idris’ arrest was one of several made as part of a six-month federal law enforcement effort dubbed Operation Wire Wire that involved the Justice, Homeland Security and Treasury departments as well as the U.S. Postal Service.

During a two-week period of “intensified” activity, there have been 74 arrests in the U.S., 29 in Nigeria and three in Canada, Mauritius and Poland, respectively, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Pittsburgh.

The Internet Crime Complaint Center received 15,690 business email compromise/email account compromise complaints with losses of more than $675 million across the country in 2017.
The schemes, also known as “cyber-enabled fraud,” originated in West Africa. They target businesses that engage in wire transfer payments and people, particularly senior citizens and people who buy real estate.

“Typically, a scammer impersonates a party in a business transaction through acquiring access to a victim’s personal email account. Then fraudulent emails are sent to trick the victim into wiring money to bank accounts controlled by the scammers.

“They’re spoofing emails to corporations to get the people to send wires to bank accounts that are controlled by them,” said Keith Mularski, cyber division-unit chief of the FBI’s Pittsburgh office. “What we have is an organized crime group that’s overseas (and) operates just like traditional organized crime except the schemes are different.”

The schemes, also known as “cyber-enabled fraud,” originated in West Africa. They target businesses that engage in wire transfer payments and people, particularly senior citizens and people who buy real estate.

The case became public last summer when the FBI arrested two Ghana natives, Nathanael Nyamekye, owner of a purported auto body shop in Aliquippa, and Ismail Shitu of Brookline, in the theft of $411,548 in proceeds from the sale of a Maryland couple’s home. Prosecutors later brought charges against Bolorunduro and another conspirator, Adnan Ibrahim, who lives in Duquesne.

Shitu, Ibrahim and Bolorunduro pleaded guilty in December. Bolorunduro was sentenced May 10 to 63 months in prison. Shitu and Ibrahim are scheduled for sentencing on October 15, and Nyamekye is scheduled for trial in September. Individuals and businesses in Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina and dozens of others throughout the country, including Western Pennsylvania, fell victim to the scams.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said: “We see groups of ex-patriots that are across the United States and in other foreign countries who coordinate and conspire with people in Nigeria to facilitate these scams and then launder the money back out through domestic banks and bank accounts.”

Mularski said while the U.S. does have an extradition treaty with the Nigeria, it hasn’t been applied in many years. He said there are two conspirators out of the 29 arrested in Nigeria that attorneys want extradited and prosecuted in the United States. Mr. Brady said U.S. authorities plan to coordinate with Nigerian officials to provide the evidence necessary to prosecute those arrested in Nigeria.

“If we can extradite them and that’s what our partners want to do, we’re happy to bring them back and put them in jail in the United States,” Mr. Brady said. “If they would prefer we help facilitate that prosecution…then that’s what we’ll do as well.”

Filed in: International

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply