Two Nigerians Arrested Over Multimillion Euros COVID-19 Scam

 A managing director of Musterpoint Investment Nig. Ltd, Akinpelu Hassan Abass, 41 and one Babatunde Adesanya a.k.a Teddy, 50 suspected to have defrauded a representative of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn have been arrested in connection with a multi-million Euro scam touching on procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment, PPE.

The Cybercrime Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, INTERPOL, National Central Bureau, Abuja picked up the duo who are members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network believed to have cloned the corporate website of ILBN Holdings BV, Holland to transact with and defraud their victim.

They were arrested 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 conveying a request from the German Government for investigations into a fraudulent transaction on the procurement of COVID-19 PPE linked to a Nigerian-based Bank Account.

Discrete investigations by INTERPOL Nigeria revealed that the suspects and their Holland-based cohorts, one Eduardus Boomstra and Geradius Maulder specialized in identity theft, cyber-stalking, cloning of corporate websites amongst other cyber mischiefs to defraud unsuspecting members of the public across the world.

Trouble began for the Managing Director and the Master degree holder in Cell Biology when both fraudulently obtained from Mr. Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn the sum of 1.5m Euro and 880,000 Euro as advanced payment for the supply of COVID-19 PPE valued at 14.7million Euros.

Disturbed by the non-arrival of the PPE, 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.

It was discovered that the fraudsters merely cloned the company’s website and falsely presented themselves as representatives of the company before subsequently executing the fraudulent transaction.

Consequently, their victim 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.

Investigation by INTERPOL Nigeria further revealed that Babatunde Adesanya received 498,000 Euro 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 in Nigeria belonging to Musterpoint Investment Nig. Ltd.

While commending the Commissioner of Police, INTERPOL, CP. Garba Baba Umar and operatives of INTERPOL Nigeria, Cybercrime Unit for a job well done, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, NPM, mni assures members of the public and the international community of the commitment of the Force to tackling cybercrimes and other transnational crimes. He reiterates that there will be no hiding place for internet fraudsters in the country.

Both suspects will be arraigned before a competent court of law.

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