Officials of the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Ibrahim Idris, Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested a suspected fraudster, for posing as Idris to use President Muhammedu Buhari’s name to defraud a Saudi Arabia-based medical doctor of $10,000.
The victim, Hassan Alkahallaf, is attached to the Department of Urology, Security Forces Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The police said the 29-year-old suspect, Ekperebuike Akadonye, specialised in impersonating Idris on the internet. Akadonye told operatives of IRT that he contacted his victims via an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, purportedly belonging to Idris.
He claimed that President Buhari, in his anti-corruption fight, had directed the IG to refund foreign victims, who had been defrauded by Nigerians in the past. Alkahallaf, who had previously been duped by some Nigeria-based internet fraudsters, was said to have fallen for the ruse. A police source said: “Immediately Alkahallaf received the email, he quickly replied, believing he was dealing with real IG. He was eventually made to pay $10,000 in several instalments before he could get back his lost funds.
“When Akadonye realised the doctor had fallen for his trick, he started demanding money from him. The victim was made to pay money to hire a lawyer who would represent him since he is not based in Nigeria as well as opening bank accounts and obtaining ATM cards.”
Alkahallaf was said to have later contacted the IG Idris through the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Nigeria. He complained of how he has been duped twice by Nigerians. Idris swung into action immediately and directed IRT to trail and apprehend the fraudster.
The team trailed Akadonye to his hometown of Isiala-Mbano in Imo State and apprehended him. Recovered from him were a mobile phone and a laptop used in carrying out the fraud. Akadonye said that it was poverty which led him into the crime.