Operatives of the Uyo Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested four suspected internet fraudsters in Calabar, the Cross River State.
Their arrests followed two seperate raids carried out in the early hours of May 4 and May 5.
The Saturday morning operation led to the arrest of a known “yahoo” kingpin, Akpojivi Joel Onoriode, a 29-year-old graduate of Delta State University, Abraka, who is married with two kids.
Onoriode was arrested in his “lavishly furnished” duplex located at Plot 10, Block VI, UniCal Satellite Town, Calabar, which he allegedly confessed was purchased with proceeds from his illicit “yahoo” business.
He allegedly confessed that he had been in the “yahoo-yahoo” business for a long time and was known as “Blinks” or “Mr. White”. He admitted that he has been in the “yahoo” business for a very long time and currently operates an offshore account in China.
A statement by EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, quoted him as saying: “I was really known in my school then as a yahoo boy. I have two kids. I didn’t want to bring them up where people will say, ‘ah! your father is a yahoo boy’. That was why I relocated my family from Asaba to Calabar.
“When I came out now and saw you people and the bus outside, my mind just told me there was a problem.”
While conducting a search on the premises, three luxury cars were recovered from him – ZDX Acura car, E 300 Mercedes Benz and a Range Rover SUV.
The Range Rover could, however, not be moved out of the premises with other exhibits due to mechanical problems. Other items recovered include, two iPhones, one Nokia phone, and documents of landed properties owned by the suspect.
The morning raid on May 5 led to the arrest of Ifeanyi Chukwudi, Godwin Joseph and Iluobe Daniel. They were picked up at different locations within Calabar, following intelligence reports gathered by EFCC operatives.
Chukwudi allegedly confessed that he specialised in love scam, admitting that he had “made a lot of money from the business (yahoo-yahoo),” the EFCC statement quoted him as saying.
It went on: “I have defrauded women from the UK (United Kingdom). They usually pay me after we get engaged, and then, they will now want me to come over, that’s when they send me money and that’s how I get paid.”
Some of the items recovered from his apartment at Effiong Close, Satellite Town, Calabar include: one iPhone 8 Plus, one HP laptop containing fraudulent letters of false claims, and nine SIM cards.
Joseph and Daniel were arrested at Itagbor Agbeansa area of Calabar. A Toyota Camry LE, one HP laptop containing scam emails and several exotic phones were recovered from them.
They will soon be charged to court, the EFCC spokesman said.