Fraud

New fake investment schemes fraudsters use to defraud Nigerians

Sylvester Maduka’s face bore a tell-tale sign of sadness as he stood in front of an office in the Oregun area of Ikeja, Lagos penultimate Thursday. The 40-year –old entrepreneur could not believe that he had just been conned by an investment firm that promised a mouthwatering return on his investment a few weeks earlier.

According to him, he was introduced to the firm by one of his business associates who regaled him with story of how he earned 70 per cent interest on the sum of N1.5 million he invested in the company. Believing what he heard, Maduka splashed N2 million on the business and got his principal earning and accrued benefit on investment a few weeks after.

Moved by the fast and huge returns, he increased his investment portfolio to N4 million. But his hope of another bountiful harvest from the sum sowed was dashed when he found the premises of the firm under lock and key.

”Oh, I have been swindled. My money is gone,” he said.

”I never knew that I was gambling when I splashed almost 60 per cent of my business capital on the investment scheme which has turned out to be fake,” he added.

Maduka’s case is just one out of many distraught victims of fake investment schemes otherwise called Ponzi, which are being used by fraudsters to dupe thousands of Nigerians across the country.

Like Maduka, over 500 desperate ‘investors’ fell to the dubious trick of a young fraudster, Dominic Ngene Joshua, who operated under the name Brisk Capital Limited, and defrauded his victims to the tune of N2 billion in investor funds.

Joshua was apprehended in May this year by the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigerian Police in Lagos, following complaints by his victims who invested cash in his cryptocurrency trading.

According to the police fraud unit, Joshua allegedly promised investors 60 per cent return on investments in oil and gas, FOREX and real estate.

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Fraud

Hushpuppi: 31 Northern Lawyers volunteer to defend Kyari against FBI

A group of 31 lawyers from northern Nigeria on Wednesday volunteered to render free legal services to the former commander of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari.

Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, is facing allegations of corruption levelled against him by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States for which he was suspended by the Police.

The spokesperson of the group, Sunusi Bappah Salisu, in a statement said the volunteer lawyers were drawn across all the 19 northern states and religions.

According to him, the pro bono was in response to calls for support for Kyari by the Coalition of Northern Groups.

The lawyers, he said, had volunteered to render free legal services for the preservation of Kyari’s fundamental rights that might be potentially jeopardized by his alleged indictment by a court in the United States of America.

Salisu said they would critically review the procedures adopted by the FBI to get the US Court to indict Kyari on allegations of involvement in charges filed  against a suspected fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi.

He said, “We would raise questions involving the possibility of breaches to Kyari’s fundamental rights entrenched in Articles 6 and 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right which essentially state that every individual shall have the right to liberty and to the security of his person and every individual shall have the right to have his cause heard.”

“Also, the  United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law in a public trial at which he has had all the guarantees necessary for his defence,” he added.

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Crime

Gunmen kidnap farmer in Ekiti

A farmer, identified as Suyi, was reportedly kidnapped in the Ikole Area of Ekiti State on Sunday two days after gunmen killed a guest and abducted his wife and daughter along Ayetoro–Ewu Ekiti Road in the state.

Sources said that the farmer went to his farm in the Okejebu Area of Ikole Ekiti but he did not return home at the close of the day.

A family source said, “At about 6pm when he did not return home, relentless efforts were made to reach his phone line, but all were futile. It was along the line that a call came in demanding for N5million before he could be released”.

The source called on security agencies to come to the aid of the family so that the victim could be set free from the kidnappers’ den.

The Police Public Relations Officer, Ekiti Command, Sunday Abutu, who confirmed the incident, said the man who had gone to his farm failed to return home.

Abutu said, “We got information that the old man went to farm on Sunday and never returned. We have been given information about his movement and our operatives are investigating the matter. We appeal to our people to be security conscious at all times.”

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Crime

Controversy as Abba Kyari deletes Facebook post denying Hushpuppi bribe

Suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police Abba Kyari has deleted a Facebook post of his statement denying taking a bribe from Ramon Abbas popularly known as Hushpuppi, checks by The Nation has revealed.

The Nation reports Hushpuppi had alleged he gave Kyari money to jail the rival after a dispute over a $1.1 million scam on Qatari businesspeople.

But Kyari denied, saying he never collected or demanded money from Hushpuppi.

Kyari had released a statement on his authentic Facebook page narrating how he only connected the Hushpuppi to a fabric dealer whom the latter paid about N300, 000.

He also edited his statement to further include another money-related case he handled involving Hushpuppi.

But he deleted where he had earlier claimed to have linked Hushpuppi up with his tailor.

“Nobody demanded or collected any money from Abbas Hushpuppi. He can be interviewed publicly in the presence of world media by the people holding him to confirm this,” the now-deleted version reads.

“He also called for another case in June 2020 and complained about a financial transaction with a second person whom he said his friend sent 8 million naira to and pleaded for his friend’s money to be recovered.

“He sent transaction slips and other evidences to prove their case against the person all these can be verified from the Hushpuppi since he is still in custody.

“And it can be verified from the person who collected the 8 million naira from Hushpuppi’s friend whom they complained about is alive and is in Nigeria.

“Generally whatever investigation steps/tactics that is being taken in most cases especially on the parties in this type of case from January to June is not for public consumption. This is the true story,” he had said.

Checks by The Nation on Wednesday indicate that the embattled cop had edited the post severally and subsequently took down the full statement.

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Fraud

Kyari appears before panel, mounts defence against Hushpuppi’s allegations indictment

The suspended former Head of the Intelligence Response Team, Abba Kyari, has appeared before the Special Investigation Panel, headed by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department, Joseph Egbunike.

Kyari, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, presented his defence to the SIP at the Force headquarters,Abuja, on Tuesday.

Our correspondent gathered that the SIP ended the session around 8pm.

A source said, “The panel started sitting since Monday. Kyari appeared before the panel members today (Tuesday) during which he presented his defence to the indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the SIP members. The panel would take it from there.”

Kyari is under investigation for involvement in a $1.1m Internet fraud allegedly perpetrated by Instagram influencer, Abbas Ramon, popularly known as Hushpuppi, and five others.

The FBI had claimed that Kyari detained one Kelly Chibuzor at the behest of Hushpuppi for one month to enable the latter and his co-conspirators fleece their Qatari victim of over $1m.

The agency also said Hushpuppi paid $20,600 to two bank accounts allegedly provided by the former IRT commander in January 20, 2020.

Kyari has denied wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, the new Head of the Intelligence Response Team, Tunji Disu, a Deputy Commissioner of Police, resumed at the Guzape, Abuja headquarters of the unit on Tuesday.

The Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, approved the posting of Disu as the unit head on Monday following the police management’s decision to fill the leadership gap within the IRT caused by Kyari’s removal on Sunday.

An operative informed our correspondent that Disu breezed into the IRT headquarters on Tuesday and later left for an undisclosed location after spending some minutes.

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Education

Senate Uncovers Irregularities in FG’s N1.1tn Investments in Financial Institutions

The upper legislative chamber has uncovered irregularities in the N1.1trillion invested in 2015 by the federal government in Crown Agents Bank and some other financial institutions in the country.

Crown Agents Bank is a United Kingdom (UK) regulated provider of wholesale Foreign Exchange and cross-border payment services connected across frontier and emerging markets.

The Senate, in the 2015 Auditor-General of the Federation’s (AuGF) report adopted recently before proceeding on annual recess, accused the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) of failing to present shares certificate to authenticate the genuineness of Federal government investments in Crown Agents Bank and financial institutions in Nigeria.

The irregularities as revealed in the Audit report, arose from the failure of the Accountant General of the Federation to provide share certificate to authenticate genuineness of N46 billion investment in 2015, and written authority for the disposal of the sum of N134.3 billion as the account into which the proceeds were credited was not provided for audit.

The report also stated that there were no additional investments in the power sector during the year under review, as against N547.8 billion being opening balance in the National Integrated Power Projet (NIPP) at the beginning of 2015.

According to the Audit Report, Crown Agents disposed off investment totaling N3 billion while additional investments amounting to N439.7 billion were also acquired during the year under review without documentary evidence.

While the account where the proceeds of the disposal of the sum of N3 billion credited was not provided for audit confirmation, the report further revealed that about N239 billion investment was an overcast recorded in the 2014 investment.

The AuGF in the subsequent query issued to the AGF which was adopted by the Senate read in part:

“It was observed that the federal government of Nigeria had additional investment in the sum of N46.3 billion and total disposal of investment of N134.3 billion as at year ended , 2015. The shares certificate to authenticate the genuineness of the additional investment of N46.3 billion were not Produce for audit.

“Also, there was no written authority for the disposal of the sum of N134.3 billion as the account into which the proceeds were credited was not provided for audit confirmation.

“There were no additional investments in the power sector during the year under review as against the N547 billion being opening balance of investment in the National Integrated Power Projet (NIPP) at the beginning of 2015.

“The Accountant-General of the Federation was required by the Auditor-General to provide the authorities for all the additional and disposal of investment during the year under review and provide the share certificate of all the additional investment for audit verification.”

The Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, in its response, however, stated that “the investment of N10 billion and N16.8 billion in Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Plc and Galaxy Backbone Plc, respectively, did not occur in year 2015 but were investment omitted from previous statement while the investment of N20 billion in Development Bank of Nigeria was a new Federal government of Nigeria Investment.

“The additional investment of N160 million in Infrastructure Bank was as a result of the subscription of Right Issue declared by the Bank.”

The Senate Committee on Public Accounts chaired by Senator Mathew Urhoghide, which presented the Audit report to Senate at plenary claimed it rejected the explanation of the Accountant-General of the Federation as he was unable to produce the share certificate of the said investment in the financial institutions.

Based on the committee’s presentation, the Senate after adopting the report thereafter ordered the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to provide share certificate to the Auditor General of the Federation for Audit within 60 days.

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Fraud

Hushpuppi: Police begin Kyari probe

The Police have begun probe of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abba Kyari, for his alleged  involvement in internet fraud perpetuated by  Rahman Abba (aka Hushpuppi).

The commencement of the investigation followed  the Police Service Commission’s (PSC )  approval of a four-man special committee set up by  Inspector-General of Police  Usman Alkali to review the allegations against Kyari by the United States  Government.

PSC also approved Alkali’s recommendation for the suspension of the DCP pending the outcome of the probe. The suspension commenced on Saturday.

Kyari, who heads  the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigerian Police Force, has since denied any involvement in the fraud  as contained in documents presented to  a U.S court by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The  IGP had in  a letter to the PSC dated July 31, explained that his request for Kyari’s suspension   was  is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the NPF.

The letter partly reads: “The suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference.

“The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.”

Force Public Relations Officer Frank Mba  said the four-member panel  probing the suspended officer is  headed by  Deputy Inspector-General of Police Joseph Egbunike.

He however, did not give the names of the three other SIP members  in his statement.

Mba’s statement reads:   ”The  SIP,  comprising four senior police officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID).

“The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the FBI.

“The SIP is also to obtain a detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations leveled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force Leadership on the matter.”

The IGP, said Mba, reaffirmed the commitment of the NPF  to the rule of law and absolute respect for the rights and privileges of Kyari throughout the period of the investigations.

“The PSC  however,  directed the IGP yesterday  to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary action.

“The commission’s decision  was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the IGP  today (Sunday, August 1),”  was signed by the commission’s  Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, and Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a  Justice of the Supreme Court and PSC Commissioner.”

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Fraud

Hushpuppi: Police begin Kyari probe

The Police have begun probe of a Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr. Abba Kyari, for his alleged  involvement in internet fraud perpetuated by  Rahman Abba (aka Hushpuppi).

The commencement of the investigation followed  the Police Service Commission’s (PSC )  approval of a four-man special committee set up by  Inspector-General of Police  Usman Alkali to review the allegations against Kyari by the United States  Government.

PSC also approved Alkali’s recommendation for the suspension of the DCP pending the outcome of the probe. The suspension commenced on Saturday.

Kyari, who heads  the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigerian Police Force, has since denied any involvement in the fraud  as contained in documents presented to  a U.S court by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The  IGP had in  a letter to the PSC dated July 31, explained that his request for Kyari’s suspension   was  is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the NPF.

The letter partly reads: “The suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference.

“The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.”

Force Public Relations Officer Frank Mba  said the four-member panel  probing the suspended officer is  headed by  Deputy Inspector-General of Police Joseph Egbunike.

He however, did not give the names of the three other SIP members  in his statement.

Mba’s statement reads:   ”The  SIP,  comprising four senior police officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID).

“The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the FBI.

“The SIP is also to obtain a detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations leveled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force Leadership on the matter.”

The IGP, said Mba, reaffirmed the commitment of the NPF  to the rule of law and absolute respect for the rights and privileges of Kyari throughout the period of the investigations.

“The PSC  however,  directed the IGP yesterday  to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary action.

“The commission’s decision  was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the IGP  today (Sunday, August 1),”  was signed by the commission’s  Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, and Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a  Justice of the Supreme Court and PSC Commissioner.”

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Fraud

Breaking: IG Recommends Kyari’s Suspension over FBI Indictment

Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, has recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari, the Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT), pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigations into his indictment by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

A United States Court had recently ordered the arrest of DCP Kyari. A District Court of California had issued a warrant of arrest for Kyari over his role in a $1 million fraud case involving notorious internet fraudster, Ramon Abbas aka Hushpuppi, and five others.

A statement issued on Sunday by the Force PRO, CP Frank Mba said the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission, dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation for the suspension of the Kyari, was in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the Force.

The statement read: “The IGP further noted that the suspension is also expected to create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel to carry out its investigations into the weighty allegations against DCP Abba Kyari without interference. The suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer.

“The Special Investigation Panel (SIP), comprising four (4) Senior Police Officers, is headed by DIG Joseph Egbunike, the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID). The SIP, inter alia, is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force Leadership on the matter.

“Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the Force to the Rule of Law and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.”

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Crime

[BREAKING] Hushpuppi: US court orders arrest of Abba Kyari

A United States court has issued a warrant of arrest for a Deputy Commissioner of Police in Nigeria, Abba Kyari.

According to a court document obtained by Peoples Gazette, Otis Wright of the United States District Court for the Central District of California ordered the Federal Bureau of Investigation to track down Kyari and produce him in the United States for his role in a multi-million dollar fraud perpetrated by Ramon Abbas, aka Hushpuppi; and his co-conspirators.

The PUNCH had earlier reported that the court said Hushpuppi used Kyari to arrest and jail a co-conspirator, Chibuzo Vincent, after the latter threatened to expose a $1m fraud committed against a Qatari businessman.

According to the indictment by the court, Hushpuppi allegedly conspired with five others – including Vincent – to defraud the businessperson (whose name was withheld) by claiming to be consultants and bankers who could facilitate a loan to finance the construction of a school in Qatar.

The document also said Hushpuppi worked with some of his partners in crime including 28-year-old Abdulrahman Juma from Kenya, and 40-year-old Chibuzo Vincent from Nigeria. Other are Yusuf Anifowoshe, 26; Rukayat Fashola, 28; and Bolatito Agbabiaka, 34.

However, Hushpuppi allegedly hunted Vincent after a dispute broke out among the team and after the latter threatened to expose the fraud to the Qatari businessman.

“According to the affidavit, Kyari is a highly decorated deputy commissioner of the Nigeria Police Force who is alleged to have arranged for Vincent to be arrested and jailed at Abbas’ behest, and then sent Abbas photographs of Vincent after his arrest. Kyari also allegedly sent Abbas bank account details for an account into which Abbas could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment,” the statement partly read.

However, a leader of the Inspector-General of Police’ Intelligence Response Team, explained in a Facebook post that Hushpuppi called his office and reported a death threat from someone about two years ago.

The cop said the suspect, Vincent, was arrested but later released after investigations revealed that “they are long time friends who have money issues between them”.

Kyari also said he did not receive any money from Hushpuppi.

Hushpuppi, 37, in a plea agreement document he personally signed, pleaded guilty to the charges including money laundering, wire fraud, felony amongst others. He risks 20 years’ imprisonment and other penalties when convicted.

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