The Nigeria Police Force has announced the arrest of a fraud suspect, Mohammed Hassan Barau, who duped one Akinola Bayo Michael in the sum of Four Hundred and Ninety-Two Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N492,750,000).
Force Spokesman, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi disclosed this during a press briefing at the force headquarters on Friday.
Explaining the case, ACP Adejobi said Barau’s arrest followed a complaint filed by Michael, who in October 2021, sought to obtain foreign exchange (forex) for the purpose of purchasing a machine from the Netherlands.
According to him, Michael sent the sum of Four Hundred and Ninety-Two Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N492,750,000) only to the bank account of Mohammed Sulaiman.
“However, instead of facilitating the forex transaction as agreed, Mr. Sulaiman transferred the funds to another individual, Mohammed Hassan Barau,” the force spokesman said.
“Hassan Barau, who resides in the United Arab Emirates, subsequently sent 513,000 Euros to Michael from Belgium, supposedly for the forex transaction. However, this transaction was flagged as fraudulent, leading Michael to return the funds to the sender. Realizing that he had been a victim of fraud, Michael made multiple attempts to recover his money but was unsuccessful.
“The case took a significant turn when it was assigned to INTERPOL which launched an investigation into the matter. Recognizing the severity of the fraud and its international dimension, INTERPOL placed the prime suspect, Mohammed Hassan Barau, on a red alert list, thereby facilitating international cooperation in tracking and apprehending the suspect.
“We are pleased to inform you that Mohammed Hassan Barau was arrested by INTERPOL Abu Dhabi and subsequently extradited to Nigeria on 27th September 2023. His extradition marks a crucial milestone in the pursuit of justice for Akinola Bayo Michael. The successful extradition of Mohammed Hassan Barau demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies, both within and outside Nigeria, to ensuring that perpetrators of criminal activities, particularly those with international ramifications, are held accountable for their actions.
“This case underscores the importance of vigilance and due diligence in financial transactions, especially in the era of increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes.”
ACP Adejobi urged individuals and businesses to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of financial transactions to prevent falling victim to fraud.