The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibadan Zonal Office, Oyo State, on Friday arrested two suspects, Egbedayo Semilore and Elijah Jeremiah, over Internet fraud. One of the suspects, Semilore, allegedly lured unsuspecting women into Internet romance with the intent to defraud them of large sums of money. He targeted victims who live abroad mostly.
To deceive his victims, Semilore posted online photographs of two American army officers, Sergeant Shaft Pagan and Perrie Edingson, who are allegedly serving in Afghanistan.
He allegedly collected the sum of N4m in installments from her last victims living in the United States.
During interrogation, Semilore confessed to have engaged in the romance scam for a while. He said he sustained his flamboyant lifestyle and bought himself a 2010 Lexus car which he registered in his mother’s name.
The EFCC said when his mother was contacted, she told operatives of the commission that she was aware of her son’s criminal activities on the Internet as he was always working on his laptop.
The EFCC said it had recovered three identity cards bearing different names and biodata, a 2010 Lexus car with number plate SMK 475 EH, two laptops and one Blackberry Passport phone from Semilore. Several love scam mails were also found and downloaded from his laptops.
Twenty nine-year-old Jeremiah on the other hand, claimed to be the fashion director of Datsol Industries Limited.
The EFCC said the suspect, who lived at No 3, Adeniyi Avenue, old Bodija, Ibadan, was living a flamboyant life before his arrest.
A statement from the commission said Jeremiah stayed indoors mostly surfing car auction sites on the Internet. The statement said Jeremiah would make online purchase of items from China and pay with fictitious letters of credit.
In his confessional statement to the commission, Jeremiah said he downloaded Letter of Credit purportedly issued by Scotia Online Financial Services of Scotia Bank Worldwide from Google and edited them to suit his transactions with which he paid for the purchases.
Unaware of his antics, the auctioneers often fell victim by shipping the goods to him ahead of the confirmation of payment.
One laptop, three Internet modems, one iPhone, two Nokia mobile phones, passport, forged Union Bank statement of account with Nigerian Uniform Bank Account Number 10141411389 for Datsol Industries Limited and an envelope containing several documents were recovered from him.
The statement said the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is completed.