Police arrest two Nigerians for €14m COVID-19 contract scam

Written by on September 6, 2020

The Cybercrime Unit of the Nigeria Police Force, Interpol National Central Bureau, Abuja, has arrested two suspects for alleged complicity in €14.7 million COVID-19 Personal Protective Equipment contract scam.

The suspects, Babatunde Adesanya a.k.a Teddy, 50, a Masters degree holder in Cell Biology and Akinpelu Abass, 41, the Managing Director, Musterpoint Investment Nigeria Ltd, were found to be members of a sophisticated transnational criminal network.

They reportedly cloned the corporate website of ILBN Holdings BV, Holland, to defraud one Freiherr Hahn, a representative of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

The arrest of the suspects was sequel to a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty received by the NCB from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice conveying a request from the German Government for investigation into a fraudulent transaction on the procurement of COVID-19 PPEs 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.

According to a statement in Abuja on Sunday, by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, the suspects fraudulently obtained from Hahn the sum of €1.5m and another €880,000 as advanced payment for the supply of COVID-19 PPEs valued at €14.7m.

Disturbed by the non-arrival of the PPEs, Hahn eventually visited the corporate office of ILBN Holdings BV in Holland to know the reason 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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