By CHRISTOPHER OJI and CHIOMA IGBOKWE
The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigeria Police Force (SFU) has arrested a student of Imo State University (IMSU), two bank staff members and a bureau-de-change operator for allegedly swindling some female American citizens. The suspected fraudsters allegedly defrauded the American ladies of the sum of $48, 000.
The Commissioner of Police in charge of the unit, Mr. Tunde Ogunsakin who paraded the suspects in his office in Ikoyi, Lagos said two staffers of a bank in Owerri, Imo State and Ikeja, Lagos branches were arrested for aiding and abetting the university student, in defrauding the women.
Ogunsakin, who was represented by SFU spokeswoman, Ngozi Isintume-Agu said following a petition via the unit website from one Amelia Brosick, a US citizen, dated April 16, 2013, alleging that one Devon Miles, suspected to be a Nigerian defrauded her of $16, 439 through different tactics. She further stated that she met the suspect on a dating site http://www.200sk.com in June 2012 and the suspect under the guise of dating her for marriage obtained the alleged sum fraudulently through Western Union Money Transfer.
According to her, upon the receipt of the petition, the Western Union transfer was contacted and they sent a detailed spreadsheet showing all fraudulent money transfers transacted by the suspect.
Following the information, the two staffers of the bank were arrested.
Their statements led to the arrest of the Internet fraudster also known as Devon Miles/Martin Williams and one Sani Bala Ismaila. She said the suspect known as Devon Miles also opened an account with the bank with another name Martin Williams.
The 22-year-old microbiology student confessed that he started Internet fraud four years ago and specialised in defrauding many single American ladies through on-line dating.
The 26-year-old staffer in Owerri branch of the bank admitted knowing the university student as a walk-in customer who was based in Lagos and was referenced by one Williams who has never identified the suspect to him.
He also mentioned one Samuel as one of the account holders used by Miles, which later turned out to be his father’s account, and he was a signatory to the account. He confessed that the principal suspect had carried out Western Union Money Transfer for nine times totalling over $60, 000, saying he had not given him more than N50, 000.
He said a 33-year-old banker in charge of Western Union Money Transfer at Allen Avenue branch, Ikeja Lagos of the bank admitted that he knew Bala as an errand boy at a bureau-de-change and that he had transacted business severally with him, which included paying money to Miles though he had not met him personally.
He also stated that he had paid the principal suspect six times without following the procedure for payment as directed by the CBN.