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Published On: Fri, Jan 16th, 2015

Love Scam: American victim lauds EFCC

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By Joy Baba Yesufu

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has been commended for helping to recover $2000 for an American victim of love scam, Margaret Sanders, just as the agency announce the recovery of $23,886 for another victim.

This was contained in a statement signed by the commission’s head of media and publicity Wilson Uwujaren in Abuja.

The statement said Sanders, who lives in Sherman, Texas, made the commendation after she was presented with a cheque for the sum by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI.

Uwujaren said she expressed delight at the professionalism demonstrated by the Nigerian agency in helping to recover the money which she thought she had lost to the scammer.

The FBI agent who made the presentation lauded the cooperation with the EFCC, while explaining that the FBI only facilitated the repatriation of the money after it was recovered by the EFCC.

“Sanders met a suspected Nigerian fraudster, Benjamin Akugbe, online and fell in love with him. The scammer who claimed to be Benny Brown from Warri, Delta State, promised her marriage, and requested for the sum of $2000.00USD to enable him join her in United States of America.

“The money was wired to him through Western Union, into an account with the name, Gladys Ikpoba domiciled with a new generation bank.

“After an endless wait for the fiancé, Sanders came to the sad realisation that she had been duped. But her efforts to recover the money were unsuccessful until she petitioned the EFCC.

“The latest recovery of $23,886 by the Commission was made in similar circumstances, for Jolanta Kasza, an American based in New York. She was fleeced of $64,000 by a suspected Nigerian Fraudster, Ndekwu Jindu (aka Dr. Daniel Coffman ) in a romance scam.

“Kasza allegedly met Coffman online in June 2012, and the fraudster introduced himself as self employed Caucasian pharmacist.

“Impressed by the profile, Kasza “fell in love” with both agreeing to get married”, Uwujaren said.

Kasza said in the course of the affair, the suspect at different times requested for money under various guise. Before she realised that she was dealing with a con artist, she had lost $64,000 USD to the fraudster.

She consequently petitioned the EFCC, which through discreet investigation recovered $23,886 USD.

The statement further said the agency is in the process of repatriating the fund to the victim.

In a related development, EFCC said has arrested three suspected internet fraudsters in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

The suspects, Okpekereke Timothy, Stanley Odjighere, and Teminor Karo are said to be a part of a syndicate arrested over allegations of conspiracy, internet scam and stealing from one of the new generation banks to the tune of N806, 208,000.00 (Eight Hundred and Six Million Two Hundred and Eight Thousand Naira).

A statement signed by the commission’s head of media and publicity, Wilson Uwujaren said Forty others are still at large saying that the theft was perpetrated through a system glitch linked to the fraudsters, in which the bank suffered a huge loss of more than N806, 208,000.

The statement further said the petitioner, who works in one of the new generation banks, alleged that a review of transactions involving the bank with Interswitch Nigeria limited revealed that the bank was not reimbursed for the transactions consummated on ATM terminals.

According to the statement “he observed that while many of the transactions involved were failed transactions, the amounts involved were not reversed, and all the customers were seen to have withdrawn the cash amounting to the sum, on each day of the occasion it happened.

“The EFCC has so far confiscated the following properties, which are proceeds of the crime from the suspects who are all within the South-South zone: one uncompleted 59-room self contain hostel, a twin bungalow in Oghara, Delta State, one uncompleted hotel project, one bungalow with a swimming pool in Ughelli, a bungalow in Agbaro , one Toyota Venza 2010 model, two Toyota Solara cars 2010 model, two Toyota Camry cars, 2010 model and two Honda Accord cars, 2005 model”.

The statement added that the suspects would be arraigned in court as soon as investigations are completed

 

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