The National Cybercrime Centre unit of the Nigeria Police Force has successfully uncovered and dismantled a sophisticated cybercrime syndicate operating a cybercrime recruitment and mentoring hub in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
During police interrogation, the arrested suspects – Bernard Joseph, 27, Emmanuel Joseph, 22, Obasi Ikechukwu, 19, Anijiofor Tobechuckwu, 26, Andrew Moses, 19, and Israel Ezekiel, 19, confessed to their various degrees of involvement in cybercrime including identity theft, hacking and trading of hacked Facebook accounts, romance scam, computer-related forgery and other computer-related fraud.
The Force Headquarters made the development known on Wednesday, noting that an investigation and operation were initiated in response to a series of intelligence reports that indicated a deep involvement of the syndicate in various cybercrimes, including Business Email Compromise, Romance Scams, and High Yield Investment Program Fraud.
The acting Inspector-General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, while reiterating the commitment of the Force to combatting crime at all fronts irrespective of its dynamics, has directed the Director, NPF-NCCC, Uche Ifeanyi, to take no break in ensuring the safety of individuals and enterprises online.
The Force spokesperson, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, in a statement, said, “Upon receiving the intelligence, a team of Cybercrime Forensic Experts and Investigators were detailed on the case, painstaking effort expended in clinically investigating the case which led to the arrest of six (6) suspects at their hideout in the Dantata estate area of the FCT and the recovery of several digital gadgets and effects used in perpetrating their criminal enterprise on the 13th of September, 2023.
“The suspects namely Bernard Joseph aged 27, Emmanuel Joseph aged 22, Obasi Ikechukwu aged 19, Anijiofor Tobechuckwu aged 26, Andrew Moses aged 19, and Israel Ezekiel aged 19, summarily confessed to their various degrees of involvement in cybercrime including identity theft, hacking and trading of hacked Facebook accounts, romance scam, computer-related forgery, and other computer related fraud punishable under the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015.
“It is pertinent to state that the investigation is ongoing and efforts to apprehend the fleeing members of this criminal network are underway. Meanwhile, the arrested suspects will be charged in court upon the conclusion of the investigation.
“The Inspector-General of Police, Ag. Olukayode Egbetokun, while reiterating the commitment of the Force to combatting crime at all fronts irrespective of its dynamics, has directed the Director, NPF-NCCC, Uche Ifeanyi Henry, to take no break in ensuring the safety of individuals and enterprises online. He also urges parents, wards, thought leaders and social/religious institutions to outrightly condemn this menace and partner with the Police in ensuring a safer digital space for all.”
Adejobi stated that the police force urges “landlords/landladies, facility owners, to expose any such cybercrime recruitment centre and mentoring hubs noticed in their areas or houses. We need to break the conspiracy of silence and expose the evil doers in our society.
“We want to reassure the public that we will continually work with partners, stakeholders, and other relevant security agencies to decimate activities of cyber criminals and other criminals across the country.”
The FPRO added, “The Nigeria Police Force, therefore, counts on your support and unwavering commitment to tackling crimes and criminality in the country. Finally, members of the public are enjoined to remain vigilant and report any suspicious online activities through our dedicated e-reporting portal at www.incb.npf.gov.ng, and via email at email@example.com.”
US YouTuber who staged plane crash to boost the number of viewers, jailed for six months
A daredevil YouTuber who deliberately crashed his plane to boost the number of viewers on his channel and then lied about it to investigators has been jailed for six months after reaching a plea deal, US authorities said Monday.
In a video of the event entitled “I crashed my airplane,” Trevor Jacob appears to experience engine trouble while flying over southern California in November 2021.
The dramatic footage, viewed millions of times on YouTube, shows Jacob, now 30, ejecting from the single-engine plane — selfie stick in hand — and parachuting into the dense vegetation of Los Padres National Forest.
Cameras placed all over the aircraft show its out-of-control descent into the forest, and its eventual crash landing.
Jacob, a former Olympic snowboarder, films himself hiking to the wreckage where he appears dismayed to discover the water he packed has disappeared.
He does, however, have the presence of mind to recover the footage from cameras.
He then documents an apparently arduous trek through undergrowth to reach safety.
In the weeks after the incident, investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) launched a probe into the crash, and Jacob was ordered to preserve the wreckage.
The YouTuber told officials he did not know where the plane had gone down.
“In fact, on December 10, 2021, Jacob and a friend flew by helicopter to the wreckage site,” the US District Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said Monday.
“There, Jacob used straps to secure the wreckage, which the helicopter lifted and carried to Rancho Sisquoc in Santa Barbara County, where it was loaded onto a trailer attached to Jacob’s pickup truck.”
The remains of the single engine plane were cut into small pieces and dumped in trash bins in and around Lompoc City Airport, in a bid to hide evidence of the crash.
The FAA, the body that regulates flying in the United States, yanked Jacob’s pilot’s license in April 2022.
When investigators closed in, Jacob cut a deal and agreed to plead guilty to one count of destruction and concealment with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation.
“Jacob lied to federal investigators when he submitted an aircraft accident incident report that falsely indicated that the aircraft experienced a full loss of power,” the US District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
“[Jacob] most likely committed this offense to generate social media and news coverage for himself and to obtain financial gain,” federal prosecutors said.
“Nevertheless, this type of ‘daredevil’ conduct cannot be tolerated.”
Jacob’s original video, along with several others he posted after the escapade, have now been removed from YouTube, but a copy can be seen here:
Pilots and aviation experts have been immensely critical of Jacob in the almost two years since the video was initially published.
Many noted that Jacob had failed to take even elementary steps to restart his plane’s apparently troubled engine.
NDLEA seizes 478kgs illicit substances in Kaduna, nabs 90 suspects
The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), Kaduna State Command said it has seized 478 kilograms of various illicit substances in November.
This is contained in a statement signed by the command’s spokesperson, Shuaibu Yusuf-Omale and issued to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Tuesday. Yusuf-Omale listed the seized substances to include: Cocaine, heroin, cannabis, tramadol, methamphetamine and other psychotropic substances.
He said that for the period under review, the command has also arrested 90 suspects, saying that the figure represents both drug traffickers, dealers and users.
Yusuf-Omale said, “In its efforts to combat the drug scourge in Kaduna State through the drug demand reductin activities, the command carried out numerous sensitisation programmes across the state.
“This was with the aim of enlightening the citizenry on the ills associated with drug use and illicit trafficking.”
Kano governor’s aide arrested over diversion of food palliatives meant for PWDs and widows
The Kano state government says it has discovered a warehouse filled with diverted food palliatives.
Tasiu Al’amin Roba, a senior special assistant (SSA) of the governor, has been arrested by the Kano police command in connection with the diversion of the palliatives.
It was understood that the SSA and Abdulkadir Muhammad, his alleged accomplice, are expected to be transferred to the criminal investigation department (CID) for further investigation.
Abba Yusuf, governor of Kano, led government officials and journalists to the warehouse at Sharada Industrial Estate on Saturday.
The governor, who said the culprits would be punished, directed the commissioner of police to take over the warehouse and conduct an investigation to identify all the suspects.
While briefing the governor during the visit, Rabiu Amour, a community leader, said thousands of bags — branded with the governor’s portrait and designed as palliatives — were discovered to be repackaged.
“We know these food items are meant to be distributed to less privileged people, therefore we decided to make a whistle blow. This is our contribution to the good efforts of the governor, he is trying his best to help the downtrodden but some people within the system are sabotaging him,” Amour said.
Danjuma Mahmoud, the agriculture commissioner, said the food items were meant to be distributed to persons with disabilities (PWDs) and widows of deceased members of the armed forces and other security agencies.
“You will recall that after the official unveiling of the distribution of food items meant for the less privileged as palliatives to crush the impact of fuel subsidy removal, the government later set aside another large portion of the palliatives specifically to be distributed to people with special needs like in the society,” Mahmoud said.
“Besides people with special needs, the last round of palliatives were also meant for families and widows of members of the armed forces, the army, navy, airforce, police, and that of the sister agencies like immigration, prison services, customs, civilians defence, road safety, and Hisbah vigilante.”
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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.
She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others
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