COVID-19: Police Arrest 2 Suspects for Defrauding German Company €14.7 Million

The Nigeria Police Cybercrime Unit, INTERPOL, National Central Bereau, Abuja has arrested 2 suspects of defrauding a German company of 14.7 million Euros (€14.7m) over procurement of COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment, PPE.

The two suspects, a 50-year-old Babatunde Adesanya a.k.a Teddy, who happens to be a Master degree holder in Cell Biology and 41-year-old Akinpelu Hassan Abass, who is the M.D Musterpoint Investment Nig. Ltd.

In a statement made available to the public by the Nigeria Police, the 2 Suspects were reportedly members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network, using the criminal network, they cloned the corporate website of ILBN Holdings BV, Holland to transact with and defraud one Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn, a representative of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The arrest follows a Mutual Legal Assistant Treaty (MLAT) received by the Bereau from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, which conveyed the German government’s request for investigation of the COVID-19 based crime linked to a Nigerian bank.

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Nigeria Police revealed that discrete investigation conducted by INTERPOL Nigeria showed that the suspects and their Holland-based cohorts, one Eduardus Boomstra and Geradius Maulders pecialized in identity theft, cyber-stalking, cloning of corporate websites amongst other cyber mischiefs to defraud unsuspecting members of the public across the world.

In this instance, the suspects fraudulently obtained from Mr Freiherr Fredrick Von Hahn the sum of 1.5m Euro and another 880,000 Euro as advanced payment for the supply of COVID-19 PPEs valued at 14.7million Euros.

Disturbed by the non-arrival of the PPEs, 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.

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

Consequently, he 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.

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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 M. A 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.

The IGP vowed to apprehend all cyber criminals across the country as he restated that there will be no hiding place for them.

The police also disclosed that the suspects will be charged before the law soon.

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