Islamabad: Nigerian man arrested in connection with cyber fraud
ISLAMABAD: The National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (NR3C) of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has arrested a national of Nigeria identified as Chigozie C. Nwanna here in connection with the Yahoo Awards lottery fraud, the FIA spokesman said on Wednesday. The arrested man posed himself as a diplomatic agent of the UK embassy in front of the complainant. He was caught on the spot by the FIA official when pointed out by the complainant, Aamir Ali, on October 3.
According to initial investigation, it was revealed that Aamir Ali, a resident of Karachi, having an email account at yahoo.com, received an email informing him that he had won a prize money of £3.2 million for the month of July 2008 prize promotion which was organised by Yahoo.
The sender of that email impersonated to be awards coordinator of ‘Yahoo and Windows Live Awards Centre’ based in the UK. The email message further asked Aamir Ali to provide his particulars and contact Manchester Office of ‘Yahoo and Windows Live Award Centre’. The name, email address and telephone number of the assistant coordinator in the UK was also provided to Aamir Ali.
Upon exchanging a few emails, Aamir Ali was informed that the diplomatic agent had left for Islamabad with the prize money. The email advised Aamir Ali to travel to Islamabad with $2,500 because there would be an inspection of consignment by customs at the airport about its contents. “$2,500 will be used to pay for non-inspection of your consignment because it is not good for the customs to know that the box is containing your cash prize”. It was also informed him through an email that the name of the diplomatic agent is Daniel Okonta and their representative is John Philips.
Furthermore, Aamir Ali received a SMS from a local mobile number claiming that the message sender is the diplomatic agent and has got his consignment. He was then called and asked to come for a meeting in a private hotel of Islamabad in Sector G-10. There Daniel Okonta (real name Chigozie C. Nwanna) met him as a diplomatic agent of the UK embassy, along John Philips, the representative of the Yahoo Awards Team. They demanded $2,500 as a payment for non-inspection fees before releasing the lottery money.
During conversion, the complainant, Aamir Ali, suspected a fraud and asked for some time to arrange the money. He immediately reported the matter to the deputy director of National Response Centre for Cyber Crimes (NR3C), FIA, Rawalpindi, who directed investigation officer for immediate legal action. Daniel Okonta (real name Chigozie C. Nwanna) was arrested but John Philips left the hotel before the arrival of FIA officers.
After the arrest of Daniel Okonta, it was revealed that his real name is Chigozie C. Nwanna. He is a citizen of Nigeria living in Lahore and has no connection with the UK embassy and Yahoo Awards Centre. The National Alien Registration Authority (NARA) ID card recovered from him also contained false and fake information. His date of birth mentioned on his NARA ID card does not match with the date of birth mentioned in the photocopy of his passport. Furthermore his residence address mentioned on the NARA ID Card was fake.
During investigation, he claimed that his original passport has been lost but he never reported it to any authority in Pakistan. He further disclosed that his partner’s name is not John Philips but ‘G G’.
Further investigation is underway and the search for his partner is on. FIA officials suspect that there is an international gang involved in this online fraud having members in the UK, Nigeria, Pakistan and India.