Cyber criminals nigerians a bit too inclined to flaunt their wealth on social networks have become perfect targets for the FBI. Arrested in early July in Dubai and extradited to the United States, they are now liable to penalties of 20 years imprisonment.
Olalekan Jacob Ponle, 29 years old, and Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, 37 years old, are part of a dozen Africans who were arrested in early July during a major operation conducted by the FBI, reported Thursday the BBC.
In front of a court in Chicago, Ponle and Abbas have been accused of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars obtained by crime.
During the police operation that led to their arrests, $ 40 million in cash has been recovered as 13 luxury cars worth millions, 21 computers, 47 smart phones and addresses of nearly two million of the alleged victims.
It is the carelessness of Ponle and Abbas on the social networks that has enabled the us federal authorities to trace their footsteps. Abbas, who is one of the leaders of the network, is followed by 2.4 million people on Instagram.
The two men were more and more publications before, luxury cars, wearing clothes from major brands. In addition to raising doubts about the origin of their wealth, these images have provided valuable information to the FBI. Some were even coded messages referring to criminal activities.
“Abbas will finance the opulent lifestyle by the crime, and it is one of the leaders of a transnational network that facilitates the computer intrusions, the combined fraud and money laundering, targeting victims in the world in the context of schemes designed to steal hundreds of millions of dollars”, according to the testimony of the FBI.
Several companies in the us and abroad have been victims of their ploy, aimed at extracting funds by e-mail under false identities. A team of the English Premier League whose name has not been disclosed, would have also been stripped of $ 124 million according to the FBI.
The Google account, Apple iCloud, Instagram and Snapchat of the two men that would have permitted the FBI access to banking information, passports, communications with conspirators and records of bank transfers.