Operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team who launched investigation to track a suspected cyber thief were shocked to their bone marrows to discover that it was just a teenager who carried out the act.
The suspect, Chigemezu Arikibe, 19, was tracked and arrested in Imo State.
He was arrested for defrauding a Cambodian woman of the sum of $75,000.
Akiribe was said to have opened fake Facebook and Instagram accounts, using the name and pictures of an American pilot and then he met the victim, Sophanmia, on a dating site and introduced himself as an American pilot working for a British airline.
The suspect would later offer to send Sophanmia expensive gift items from America and also the sum of $500,000.
He told her to invest the money in real estate business in Cambodia.
The police said: “The suspect informed the victim that he would send the items and money in a box through a courier agency and that she would pay for its clearing.
“A courier agency from Indonesia contacted the victim and made her pay a delivery fee of $75,000, while the supposed gifts and money never got to her.
“The victim in her quest to get the gift and money from the bank, took loans from the bank, which she also sent to the fraudster.
“She later alerted the Nigerian Embassy in Cambodia after she discovered that the said pilot, who claimed to be an American, was calling her from Nigeria.”
The Nigerian Mission in Cambodia, after listening to Sophanmia, analysed the data she provided to them.
The IGP, Mohammed Adamu, was alerted.
The IGP instructed IRT Unit, headed by a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, to track down the suspect.
He was eventually tracked to Mbaitoli area of Imo State, where he lives.
The Police further said: “The suspect was arrested in possession of the SIM card and phone used in committing the crime.
“When Police went through the phone, they saw chats between the suspect and woman.
“Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to everything.
“He also said there was someone in Indonesia who assisted him to pull out the money from a US bank account.
“He claimed to be an American, which was why the suspect gave the woman an American bank account.
“The worst was that the woman went and borrowed the money from the bank.”
Arikibe, a secondary school certificate holder, said: “It was Ugochukwu my friend who taught how to do internet fraud.
“Ugochukwu used to communicate with white people on the internet, and whenever he was chatting with them, I would be watching.
“I watched him for a week and started mine.
“I opened a fake Facebook account with the name: Frank William.
“On Instagram, I opened an account with the name Patrick William.
“I used a picture of a pilot, which I saw on Instagram, as my DP.
“I downloaded and uploaded the pilot’s picture on my fake Facebook and Instagram pages.
“I also used the same picture on Instagram.
“The pilot later discovered that I used his pictures and started complaining.
“He was all over the social media, complaining.
“He even said that he has been arrested three times by the police for defrauding people, but that he wasn’t the one.
“My Facebook account was later blocked.
“I then focused on Instagram, where I met the client that paid me this money.
“I followed her and we started chatting.
“I told her that I was an American and a pilot.
“We started discussing about life.
“I told the woman that I wanted to send her some gifts and a large sum of money.
“I told her that I wanted to send expensive clothes, shoes, wristwatches and $500,000 to her.
“I told her that the $500,000 should be invested in real estate business.
“I sent her pictures of the items, which I wanted to send to her.
“I also told her that the money would be inside a box.
“I told her that I would send the money through a courier company and that she would have to pay customs tax.
“My friend in Indonesia acted like the courier company and contacted her.
“She was given the first bill of $800, which she paid.
“The delivery guy in Indonesia called the woman again and told her that the goods had been seized.
“He asked her to pay $2,700.
“She paid the money and he then asked her to pay another $6,200.
“She paid several other money to have the goods released.
“She ended up paying the sum of $75,000.
“I got my share.”