from OKORO CHINEDU in Lagos, Nigeria
LAGOS, (CAJ News) – UNITED States (US) authorities have arrested 281 suspects during a crackdown against online fraud.
A majority of the suspects (167) arrested over a four-month period are Nigerians.
The operation to disrupt Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes resulted in the seizure of nearly $3,7 million (R54,4 million).
Other suspects arrested in the so-called Operation reWired are 18 Turkey nationals and 15 Ghanaian.
Arrests were also made in France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia and the United Kingdom (UK).
Some 74 people were arrested in the US and 207 others have been arrested overseas.
The US alleges the individuals are often members of transnational criminal organisations, which originated in Nigeria, but have spread throughout the world.
Crimes covered by the operation include employment opportunity scams, rental fraud, fraudulent online vehicle sales and romance swindles.
Jeffrey Rosen, Deputy Attorney General, said the Department of Justice had increased efforts against fraudsters targeting American citizens and their businesses in bogus schemes and cyber-enabled financial crimes.
“Anyone who engages in deceptive practices like this should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable,” Rosen emphasised.
According to the Internet Crime Complaint Centre, cyber crime cost the US nearly $1,3 billion (R19 billion) in 2018.
This is nearly twice as much as was reported the previous year.
Some 74 individuals were arrested and nearly $2,4 million (R35,3 million) seized during a similar operation- called Wire Wire- last year.
– CAJ News