Fraudsters who use cloned SIM cards to empty dead people’s accounts arrested

Cyber thief
Cyber thief

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a syndicate that specialises in the cloning of Subscriber Identification Module cards of prominent deceased persons.

It was gathered that the gang leader, Osita Nwafor, alias Ossy, was arrested by the decoy team of the Rapid Response Squad at the gang’s hideout after a detailed analysis of its activities.

Nwafor’s apprehension led to the arrest of other members of the gang namely: Nwogu Chike, Anthony Odama, Ikechukwu Nkem, James Okonkwo, Adedio Paulinus and Olufemi Ogundepo.

Our correspondent learnt that the arrest of the suspects foiled the fraudulent transaction of N3m through a cloned SIM card.

According to a statement by the RRS, the suspects work with some bank workers in Nigeria and outside the country.

It was gathered that Chika was working on the transfer of $220,000 from a foreign bank, while Ogundepo was working on the transfer of N25m from an old generation bank in the country before they were arrested.

Nwafor stated that he recruited the gang members in 2019, adding that they worked independently.

He said, “Although I brought the team together, each member of the group has his area of specialisation. We look for potential victims and each member has his role on each of the cases.

“Once I have done my part of the deal by looking for SIMs and accounts numbers, I push them to whoever among the member has to play the next role and that is how we treat our cases and apart from this, each member of the gang also has his splinter group. Whenever they have personal jobs, they also handle on their own.

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“Chike look for foreign and local accounts for money lodgements. I don’t know anything about how he does that, I simply hand over to Chike. He has his connections and they work on percentage and once they agree on the percentage when the money comes, everybody gets their cuts.

“We find obituaries of well to do members of the public, use bank insiders to determine the deceased’s account balance and clone their SIM cards for online transfers.”

One of the bank workers, who helped the suspects, was arrested in Lagos, while the other, who is based in Benin, Edo State, had been on the run after he knew that the gang had been busted by the police.

Our correspondent learnt that the suspects had been transferred to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad for further investigation and prosecution.

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