30th June, 2010
Security and law enforcement agents in the United States have arrested a Nigerian, Ademola Adegoke, who will soon face trial over different forms of fraud estimated at $2million (about N300 million).
The U.S. Department of Stateâ€™s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), the United States Secret Service, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police in collaboration with authorities in Ghana were able to disrupt a worldwide scam used to defraud the U.S. and Canadian citizens and travel agencies of N300 million.
According to a website, The African Examiner, Adegoke arrived the U.S. with law enforcement officers who had trailed him to Ghana from where he operated a crime syndicate that specialised in wire fraud, identity theft and access device fraud. Ghanaian authorities have identified Ademola as a Nigerian.
The report said Adegokeâ€™s group purchased stolen credit card account numbers. They also by electronic means manipulated credit card numbers into computer images of credit cards. They then emailed the images along with fraudulent passport and driverâ€™s licence information to travel agencies to buy airline tickets to the U.S. They also sell the tickets to travellers.
One of the investigators, Todd Brown, said the investigation has been a particularly complex one that required the expertise and talent of many U.S. and international law enforcement agents.
â€œThe methods criminals use to commit financial crimes have evolved significantly over the last several years,â€ said Jeffrey Irvine, special agent in charge of the secret service in Washington field office.
He added that but for the cooperation of federal, local and international agencies it would not have been possible to discover and prevent the spread of this type of financial fraud.
The report stated that Adegoke was arrested by the Ghanaian police last month after the US authorities had interviewed travellers at the JFK International Airport who were suspected to have purchased their tickets on stolen credit cards.
After their investigations, the Ghanaian authorities expelled the suspect and he was flown to the US.
Adegoke is expected to face the charges of fraud before an Eastern District of Virginia Court. If found guilty, the U.S. government may seize about $700,000 found in several international bank accounts the suspect allegedly operated.