Stella Dimoko Ringleader Of Global Network Behind Thousands Of Online Scams Arrested in Nigeria


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Monday, August 01, 2016

Ringleader Of Global Network Behind Thousands Of Online Scams Arrested in Nigeria

The head of an international criminal network behind thousands of online frauds has been arrested in a joint operation by INTERPOL and the Nigerian Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC).

The 40-year-old Nigerian national, known as ‘Mike’, is believed to be behind scams totalling more than USD 60 million involving hundreds of victims worldwide. In one case a target was conned into paying out USD 15.4 million.

The network compromised email accounts of small to medium businesses around the world including in Australia, Canada, India, Malaysia, Romania, South Africa, Thailand and the US, with the financial victims mainly other companies dealing with these compromised accounts.

Heading a network of at least 40 individuals across Nigeria, Malaysia and South Africa which both provided malware and carried out the frauds, the alleged mastermind also had money laundering contacts in China, Europe and the US who provided bank account details for the illicit cash flow.

Following his arrest in Port Harcourt in southern Nigeria, a forensic examination of devices seized by the EFCC showed he had been involved in a range of criminal activities including business e-mail compromise (BEC) and romance scams.

The main two types of scam run by the 40-year-old targeted businesses were payment diversion fraud – where a supplier’s email would be compromised and fake messages would then be sent to the buyer with instructions for payment to a bank account under the criminal’s control – and ‘CEO fraud’.

In CEO fraud, the email account of a high-level executive is compromised and a request for a wire transfer is sent to another employee who has been identified as responsible for handling these requests. The money is then paid into a designated bank account held by the criminal.

‘Mike’ first came onto the law enforcement radar through a report provided to INTERPOL by Trend Micro, one of its strategic partners at the INTERPOL Global Complex for Innovation (IGCI) in Singapore. This, combined with actionable analysis and intelligence from Fortinet Fortiguard Labs in 2015, enabled specialists at the INTERPOL Digital Crime Centre, including experts from Cyber Defense Institute based at the IGCI, and the EFCC to locate the suspect in Nigeria, resulting in his arrest in June.

Abdul Chukkol, Head of the EFCC’s Cybercrime Section said the transnational nature of business e-mail compromise makes it complex to crack, but the arrest sent a clear signal that Nigeria could not be considered a safe haven for criminals.

“For a long time we have said in order to be effective, the fight against cybercrime must rely on public-private partnerships and international cooperation,” said Mr Chukkol.

“The success of this operation is the result of close cooperation between INTERPOL and the EFCC, whose understanding of the Nigerian environment made it possible to disrupt the criminal organization’s network traversing many countries, targeting individuals and companies,” added Mr Chukkol.

Noboru Nakatani, Executive Director of the IGCI warned that BEC poses a significant and growing threat, with tens of thousands of companies victimized in recent years.
“The public, and especially businesses, need to be alert to this type of cyber-enabled fraud,” said Mr Nakatani.

“Basic security protocols such as two-factor authentication and verification by other means before making a money transfer are essential to reduce the risk of falling victim to these scams.
“It is exactly through this type of public and private sector cooperation that INTERPOL will continue to help member countries in bringing cybercriminals to justice no matter where they are,” concluded Mr Nakatani.

The 40-year-old, along with a 38-year-old also arrested by Nigerian authorities, faces charges including hacking, conspiracy and obtaining money under false pretences. Both are currently on administrative bail as the investigation continues.



  1. Imagine?

    Thank God they got caught


  2. Choi!...
    Where is the culprit's picture?...

  3. Great news, that's if they won't release him after bribe

    *Larry was here*

  4. Chai bad luck to this guy. Na wa

  5. Hmmmm. Good job by EFCC, every body want to make money on a fast lane.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. Hmmm I think I know this Peerol

    2. Even though you know this peerol.. better face your life before you cast...

  7. Serves him right! After duping people of their hard earned money, he has finally been caught. Please efcc and co do not collect any bribe from him o

  8. He deserves to live in jail

  9. God has caught him. Useless Yahoo boy....

  10. #Go where you are appreciated, not where you are tolerated. Your confidence, health and life will be much better*

  11. Hahaha! Jst like my boyfriend way dey do yahoo...... he has all d money but fear no free me marry am as he proposed..... I wish I cld

    1. That's how Aunty Risika reach 50 years old.
      Be there turning down his proposal....shiooor
      Now na church to church she dey run go like person wey dem dey use play Ping Pong..

  12. This is good news

  13. I wish all them yahoo guys n gals would be caught too

    1. So that when your married lover or that old Abuja man starts buying you cars, you start forming as if the world belongs to you! You will come to office and not greet anyone and still be talking thrash! Abegi....

      Do wire fraud small make cool cash! Let no girl come and use sugar daddy money and be forming for me! I have legit by the side and I do wire and alibaba by the side too!

  14. This people are bringing money into the country, nd efcc dey pursue dem, bt budget padding matter dey get k leg. If dis people turn to armed robbers shey we can go like am,, see country. Wey no dey give job get mind dey arrest g boys, Wey dey scam oyibo money ooo bt d politician Wey dey thief Nigeria money dey use convoy waka. #givejoborleavedemalone

    1. You dey mind the foolish government and efcc.. rubbish.. gboy gat chow too nah


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