An INTERPOL-led operation targeting malware cyber fraud across Southeast Asia has led to the Nigeria arrest of three suspected global scammers, according to INTERPOL.
The suspects were arrested in a sting operation conducted simultaneously in the Lagos suburb of Ajegunle and Benin City by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The three men, aged between 31 and 38, were arrested in possession of fake documents, including fraudulent invoices and forged official letters.
According to INTERPOL, the arrests follow the publication of an INTERPOL Cyber Report linking a suspected syndicate of Nigerian fraudsters operating from the West Coast of Africa to the use of a malicious Remote Access Trojan (RAT) known as Agent Tesla.
INTERPOL assisted in examining the laptops and mobile phones seized by EFCC during the arrests, helping to confirm the systematic use of “Agent Tesla” malware to access business computers and divert monetary transactions to their accounts.
“The men are thought to have used the RAT to reroute financial transactions, stealing confidential online connection details from corporate organizations, including oil and gas companies in South East Asia, the Middle East and North Africa,” the Organization stated.
One of the scammers, Hendrix Omorume, has been convicted of three counts of serious financial fraud and faces a 12-month prison sentence. The two other men are still on trial.
“Through its global Police network and constant monitoring of cyberspace, INTERPOL had the globally sourced intelligence needed to alert Nigeria to a serious security threat where millions could have been lost without swift Police action. Further arrests and prosecutions are foreseen across the world as intelligence continues to come in and investigations unfold,” said INTERPOL’s Director of Cybercrime, Craig Jones.
“Cybercrime is spreading, at a fast pace, with new trends constantly emerging. Through operations like Killer Bee, INTERPOL supports EFCC in keeping pace with new technologies and understanding the possibilities they create for criminals and how they can be used as tools for fighting cybercrime,” said EFCC’s Director of Operations, Abdulkarim Chukkol.
“The enforcement actions led by Nigeria and coordinated with INTERPOL send a clear message that cybercrime will have serious repercussions for those involved in business email compromise fraud, particularly in Nigeria,” Mr. Chukko added.
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