he police have rescued a United States citizen whom they say was detained in Lagos for more than a year by a Nigerian she met on Facebook.
The police said the American was confined against her wish in a hotel in Lagos by one Chukwuebuka Obiaku, a suspected fraudster that “extorted her of about $48,000”.
Frank Mba, police spokesman who disclosed this on Sunday, said Obiaku “lured the victim into the country under the pretext of love and deceitfully married her on 15th May, 2019″.
“The victim who hails from Washington DC, USA and is a retired civil servant in the US, arrived Nigeria on 13th February, 2019 on a visit to one Chukwuebuka Kasi Obiaku, 34 years old, a native of Ikeduru LGA of Imo State whom she met on Facebook,” Mba said in a statement.
“She was however rescued by Police operatives attached to the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), Ogun State Annex following information received from a patriotic and civic minded Nigerian in the Meran area of Lagos State.
“Investigations reveal that the suspect, Chukwuebuka Kasi Obiaku is a graduate of Business Administration and Management and an internet fraudster who has defrauded many unsuspecting members of the public both locally and internationally.
“Chukwuebuka deliberately lured the victim into the country under the pretext of love and deceitfully married her on 15th May, 2019. He subsequently held her captive in a hotel, extorted from her monies amounting to a total of 48,000-USD.
“He also forcefully collected and took control of her credit and debit cards as well as the operation of her bank accounts including the receipt of her monthly retirement benefits and allowances over the period of fifteen (15) months.”
The police added that the suspect also used the American as “a front to defraud her associates and other foreign personalities and companies”.
Mba said the police cybercrime unit, INTERPOL National Central Bureau (NCB), Abuja also arrested three suspected fraudsters for cybercrime-related offences.
He said the suspects — Samson Inegbenesun, 30; Blessed Junior, 32, and Muhammed Zakari, 36 — all from Edo state, were involved in suspected fraudulent online procurement and supply of COVID-19 protective masks.
“Investigations reveal that Samson Inegbenosun is an internet fraudster and a member of a Turkey-based online scamming syndicate. He supplies foreign and local bank accounts to receive fraudulent funds and use same as conduit to other feeder accounts,” he added.
“Meanwhile, the Police have recovered from him, a building apartment worth
N20,000,000.00, a Toyota RAV-4 2015 model worth N6,500,000.00 and a Toyota Matrix 2002 model valued at N2,000,000.00 which he procured with the proceeds of the crime.
“The second suspect, Blessed Junior, returned to Nigeria from Italy in February, 2020 but maintains close contacts and illicit dealings with his Italian associates. Investigations reveal that he has made over
N120,000,000.00 from internet fraud and other cybercrime dealings.
“He also received the sum of 52,000 EUROs recently from his criminal associates in Italy as commission for his active involvement in an international cybercrime deal. He also owns a filling station established with the proceeds of the crime.
“Mohammed Zakari, an expert in internet fraud, identity theft and impersonation, falsely claims to be a British citizen. He also poses to be one Kelly Galk on online dating apps which he uses to carry out romance scams and to defraud unsuspecting members of the public, locally and internationally.
“Investigation reveals he has made millions of naira from his illicit cybercrime transactions since he joined the syndicate.”
He said all the suspects will be prosecuted upon the conclusion of investigations.