'How threats by Nigerian fraudster led U.S. teenager to commit suicide'

Hacker

File: Internet fraud

By Ayorinde Olukun

Ayotunde Solademi, a Foreign Service National Investigator with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI has narrated at a court Lagos how threats by Nigerian fraudster, Muideen Olamilekan Teslim to release the naked pictures of his his victim led his 15-year-old victim to take his life.

Solademi is the second prosecution witness, PW2, in the ongoing trial of Muideen Olamilekan Teslim on a six-count charge bordering on possession of child pornography and sextortion brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The FBI operative testified on Monday, May 27, 2024 befor Justice Dehinde Dipeolu of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Muideen Teslim Olamilekan (a.k.a joyamanda), on or about the 18th of April, 2022 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, intentionally had in your possession child pornography of a minor in your account [email protected] and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 23(1)(e) of the of Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention, Etc.) Act, 2015.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges when they were read to him.

At the resumed sitting on Monday, Solademi, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Bilkisu Buhari, told the court that the FBI and the EFCC, sometime in July 2023, conducted a joint operation code-named Operation Artemis, which focused on financial sextortion cases.

Solademi, in his testimony, said the Child Exploitation Operational Unit of the FBI, sometime in April 2023, was called to a case involving a 15-year-old American male, who was befriended by a supposedly 16-year-old female named Joy Amanda.

He added that “They were both chatting on a social media platform called Wink. The email address used by Joy Amanda on Wink is [email protected].

“When they both met on Wink, Joy Amanda sent some nude pictures to the victim and requested the victim to also send his nude pictures. The victim, believing that the pictures he received were from the person he was chatting with, then sent nude pictures of himself to Joy Amanda. After Joy Amanda received the pictures, he made a picture collage, sent back to the victim and threatened that he would share the picture with all the victim’s contacts if the victim doesn’t send $200.

“Joy Amanda told the victim to send the money through CashApp, PayPal or Apple Gift card and gave a username for these accounts. The user name was [email protected].”

In his further testimony, Solademi informed the court that while law enforcement officers were speaking to the victim in his house, a call came in through the victim’s phone, threatening the victim.

According to him, “the caller ID showed Joy Amanda. The person speaking on the other side had a male voice. He was threatening that if he didn’t send the money, the picture would be released to the contacts.

“Thirty minutes after law enforcement agents left the victim’s house, a call was pulled through to the law enforcement by the victim’s parent that the victim shot himself in the head because of the incessant threat he received from the so-called Joy Amanda and he died.”

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Narrating the steps taken by the law enforcement officers during investigations, the PW2 further told the court that “Legal processes were served by the FBI to Wink, Google and WhatsApp. Wink provided the email associated with Joy Amanda as [email protected]. FBI then proceeded to serve legal processes on Google with the email address of Joy Amanda and the username that was provided for payment that is [email protected].

“The response from Gmail showed that the recovery email for Joy Amanda is a Glo phone number ending with 9664, while that of Muideen Teslim is an Airtel phone number ending with 5098.

“Google revealed that the IP address of Joy Amanda was coming from Nigeria. Likewise, WhatsApp responded that the phone number ended with 9664, a glo number.

“All the evidence and pictures were packaged into a petition and was submitted as one of the cases under Operation Artemis. “

Buhari, thereafter, asked the PW2 if he could identify the request from the office of the Legal Attache in the US consulate to prosecute under Nigerian Law written to the EFCC, as well as other evidence against the defendant.

The prosecution counsel applied to tender the same and they were admitted as exhibits.

When PW2 was asked to confirm certain details on the exhibits, he said,
“In Exhibit 7, the glo number attached to [email protected] is 08071489664, while the Airtel number attached to [email protected] is 08127015068.

“In Exhibit 6, the wallet number on the Opay account opening package of Muideen Teslim is 8071489664 and the BVN number is 22377813795

“In Exhibit 3, on the google account personal info, the email address is [email protected] and the phone number attached is 08071389664.”

He also confirmed the picture collage that Joy Amanda sent to the victim.

When asked during cross-examination by the defence counsel, A.J. Adejuwon, for the victim’s name, the witness said: “The name of the victim was withheld to protect the family’s privacy. The victim stayed in Magnolia, U.S A., before his death.”

The witness also clarified that the explicit photos were not shared with the EFCC to prevent further distribution.

Upon discharge of PW2, Adejuwon applied before the court to file a no-case submission.

Justice Dipeolu adjourned the matter to July 4, 2024 for ruling on no-case submission.

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