Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe and Dennis Naku
An Instagram comedian and social media influencer, Nwagbo Chidera, also known as Pankeeroy, has been arrested for alleged Internet fraud.
Chidera was arrested alongside 34 others at the James Court in the Lekki area of Lagos State by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for alleged involvement in computer-related fraud.
The other suspects include Chinedu Christian, Gafar Adedamola, Chuka Richard, Dibo Samson, Rotimi Damilola, Habeeb Damilola, Afolabi Michael, Adekanbi Adeola, Emeka Egwuatu, Adeyemi Olumide, Awokoya Iyaniwura, Efunnuga Samuel, Samson Egwuatu, Gbemileke Simeon, Omoyemi Owolabi and Farouk Olatunde.
Others are Orapitan Segun, Oladunjoye Olawale, Ibrahim Olanrewaju, Wasiu Sola, Olamiposi Damilola, Isieq Olamilekan, Abel Junior, Emmanuel Martins, Timilehin Jesse, Kelvin Kendal, Omotola Emmanuel, Rasaq Farouq, Oyelere Shakiru, Timileyin Damilare, Kelly Nwanou, Adedeji Olayinka, Balogun Ibrahim and Makinde Benjamin.
According to the EFCC, Chidera, who was allegedly involved in bitcoin scam after he suffered depression, presented himself as a vendor, who redeemed bitcoin vouchers using the bitcoincoretrading.com platform to defraud unsuspecting victims.
The EFCC, in a statement on Thursday, stated that investigation revealed that one of the suspects, Christian, allegedly defrauded an aged Asian-American lady of over $475,000, adding that he confessed to posing as Dave Frederick, a 58-year-old American on a mission in Syria to lure his victims and defrauding them of their hard-earned funds.
It was gathered that a Mercedes Benz AMG GLE model worth N36m was recovered from him, while the suspect had about N22.3m worth of bitcoins in his blocked chain account.
Other items recovered from the suspects include exotic cars, iPhones, laptops, Android devices and MacBook devices.
The statement added that the suspects would soon be charged.
In another development, the EFCC said its operatives arrested 11 suspected Internet fraudsters in a sting operation in Rivers and Bayelsa states.
In a statement issued by Uwujaren, the anti-graft agency stated that the suspects were nabbed on Wednesday.
Uwujaren said the suspects were busted following a discreet surveillance operation about their activities in the two states.
The statement read in part, “The suspects are: Eliot Chuku, Oghenero Tega, Pamkim James, Jeremiah Agbani, Frank Freeman, George Naomi, Joshua Patrick, Francis Paul, Bernard Peter, Akarolo Chimeganum and Precious Ebi.
“They were arrested in four locations in Bayelsa State – Queens Estate, Mike Okporkpor, Kpansia and Yenagoa, as well as Unity Estate in Rivers State.
“Their arrest was spurred by discreet surveillance about their suspicious involvement in Internet- related fraud. They will be charged as soon as investigations are concluded.”
Uwujaren listed items recovered from the suspects to include 21 phones, two power banks, two PlayStations, two speakers, one passport, four SIM packs, one laptop, four Automated Teller Machine cards and one Lexus RX 350 Sports Utility Vehicle.