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U.S arrests 30 Nigerians over email scams

To reduce activities of global email scam artists, the United States of America has arrested 30 Nigerians in a coordinated crackdown on persons who convince respondents to wire them money through fraudulent activities.In the swipe on fraudulent activities, which also involved 44 nationals from other countries, the U.S. said such scams are prevalent and pledged to pursue perpetrators regardless of where they are located.

Authorities said they have seized, recovered or disrupted more than $16 million (£12 million) since January. The effort, which involved local and federal law enforcement agencies, targeted scammers who trick people into transferring them money, for example by impersonating a business partner or colleague.

In one case, the U.S. alleged that two Nigerians living in Dallas posed as a property seller when requesting a $246,000 wire transfer from a real estate attorney.Authorities also went after “money mules” – “witting or unwitting accomplices” who receive the money from the victims and transfer it as directed by the fraudsters.

The U.S. said arrests occurred in the U.S., Nigeria, Canada, Mauritius and Poland. Some Nigerians allegedly involved in the crackdown include: Adeyemi Odufuye using many aliases including ‘Micky,’ ‘Micky Bricks,’ ‘Yemi,’ ‘GMB,’ ‘Bawz’, ‘Jefe,’ aged 32, and Stanley Hugochukwu Nwoke, aka ‘Stanley Banks,’ ‘Banks,’ ‘Hugo Banks,’ ‘Banky,’ and ‘Jose Calderon’ as his several aliases.

They were charged with a seven-count indictment in the District of Connecticut. Their victims were said to have lost approximately $2.6 million, including at least $440,000 in actual losses to one victim in Connecticut.A third co-conspirator Olumuyiwa Yahtrip Adejumo, aka ‘Ade,’ ‘Slimwaco,’ ‘Waco,’ ‘Waco Jamon,’ ‘Hade,’ and ‘Hadey,’ aged 32, of Toledo, Ohio, pleaded guilty on April 20 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The US department of justice said Odufuye was extradited from the United Kingdom to the United States on January 3, and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.Nwoke was extradited to the US from Mauritius on May 25, marking the first extradition in over 15 years from Mauritius. His case is pending. Richard Emem Jackson, aka Auwire, 23, of Lagos, was charged in an indictment filed on May 17 in the District of Massachusetts with two counts of unlawful possession of a means of identification as part of a larger fraud scheme.

According to the indictment, on two occasions in 2017, Jackson was alleged to have possessed the identifications of two victims with the intent to commit wire fraud conspiracy.Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director, Christopher Wray, whose agency funded and coordinated the operation, said: “This operation demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to disrupt and dismantle criminal enterprises that target American citizens and their businesses.”

FBI said people have reported losing more than $3.7bn since it started tracking the issue through its Internet Crime Complaint Center.Wray said “The devastating effects these cases have on victims and victim companies, affect not only the individual business but also the global economy”.

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