The Police in Lagos State on Monday announced the smashing of a fraud syndicate that specializes in clearing money from bank accounts by hacking into customers’ e-mails.
Four of the fraudsters were arrested in Onitsha and three in Awka, both in Anambra State, for separate offences.
The operation was led by the Rapid Response Squad of the Lagos State Police Command.
According to the police, the suspects are part of internet fraudsters that specialise in hacking into e-mail addresses and using them to send messages seeking transfer of funds in tranches to different accounts.
Those arrested in Onitsha allegedly hacked into the e-mail account of the CEO of a popular lotto company based in Lagos and easily transferred N5 million into four separate accounts.
Those nabbed in Awka allegedly duped a Lagos-based estate agent of N4 million after he received an e-mail that gave payment instructions.
The Lagos State police spokesperson, SP Dolapo Badmos, said: “The e-mail gave payment instructions to transfer funds in his custody to an account belonging to one Emmanuel Ajinubi with First Bank Account No. 3046974892.
“The first transfer of N800,000 was on October 24th, 2016. On 27th October, 2016, there was another instruction to transfer N530,000 to the same account. On November 1, 2016, he transferred N720,000 into Ifenancho Kingsley (a suspect) First Bank account 3050290672. And on further instruction, the following day, he transferred N850,000 to same account.
“The total amount transferred into the two accounts was N3,820,000.”
Badmos said that the victim only realised that the payment instructions did not emanate from his client after he got a phone call from him.
The police are making efforts to arrest other members of the syndicate who have hacked into some corporate and individual e-mail addresses.
The arrested suspects have been transferred to the State Criminal Investigations Department, Panti, Yaba, Lagos for further investigations.