Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigeria Police Force headquarters in Abuja paraded three brothers of the same parents and 21 other suspects for their involvement in cybercrime on Monday. The suspects, among them a female, were arrested for cases of romance and online dating scams, generating and deployment of fake bank alerts, hacking and fraudulent wire transfers, cyberstalking and impersonation of high-profile personalities in Nigeria and beyond.
The suspects were found to be in possession of 11 laptop computers, 37 mobile phones, 11 SIM cards of different telecoms networks, 5 international passports, 12 ATM cards, fake US dollar notes and quantities of dry leaves suspected to be marijuana at the time of their arrest.
Parading the suspects before newsmen at the premises of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in Abuja, force public relations officer Frank Mba said the suspects most of whom have been arrested for various crimes in the past and charged to court and even served various prison terms, are unrepentant as they have gone back to the same crime.
According to him, three of the suspects who happen to be siblings of the same parents had impersonated senior police Officers including himself and the commander IGP Intelligence Response Team Abba Kyari and the Inspector General of Police of Ghana, John Kudalor.
He said the suspects who specialise in defrauding Nigerians and foreigners use their computers to produce fake passports, bank apps, and Facebook accounts which they use to dupe their unsuspecting victims.
The three brothers – Emmanuel Ushie 23, Henry Ushie, 30, and a graduate of Statistics from Anambra State University and Matthew Ushie, 28-years-old, and an OND graduate from Federal Polytechnic Oko, opened a fake Frank Mba Foundation bank account with FCMB to defraud innocent Nigerians of their hard-earned monies under the pretext that the foundation was raising money to help vulnerable Nigerians during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said the duo, which has Emmanuel their elder brother as a leader, were arrested at their hideout in Ihiala, Anambra State.
Mba said Police investigation revealed that Mathew Ushie had been arrested in Ghana last year in a well-publicised bust of fraudsters where he and other international fraudsters used the name of Ghana’s Inspector-General of Police, John Kudalor, to defraud unsuspecting Ghanaian policemen in the guise of providing opportunities for them to attend a United Nations peacekeeping mission using a fake Facebook account, adding that information about his arrest and parading before the press in Ghana was available on the internet.
In an interview with newsmen, Mathew Ushie said he had been in the business of hacking into people’s Facebook accounts, bank accounts and other internet crimes but said he had not made much money. He said that he spent most of the money he made from the loot on women, drinks and clubbing.