Three Nigerian cybercriminals that allegedly posed online as three top U.S. film stars, Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel and Dexter Smith have bagged jail terms for using the Internet for criminal activities.
The Internet fraudsters are to forfeit N4.1 million believed to be proceeds of cybercrime activities to the Nigeria government, law enforcement agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says.
The Internet criminals were said to have posed as three famous entertainment industry personalities including Thomas Jeffrey Hanks, better known as Tom Hanks, famous for his comedic and dramatic roles in such films as Splash (1984), Big (1988), Turner & Hooch (1989), A League of Their Own (1992), Sleepless in Seattle (1993), Apollo 13 (1995), Saving Private Ryan (1998)among others.
Their second target is Mark Sinclair, who is also better known by his stage name Vin Diesel, is an American actor, producer, director and screenwriter, famous for roles in The Fast and the Furious film series, The Chronicles of Riddick series among others.
The third target of the identity theft in Dexter Smith, known for his work on Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993), The Powerpuff Girls Movie (2002) and Samurai Jack (2001), among others.
The Nigerian anti-graft agency which is pushing an online campaign with #SayNoToCyberCrime has just announced on microblogging site Twitter that the three person involved in the cybercrime activities have bagged jail terms.
They include Henry Ofeyi, who posed as Dexter Smith; David Afatakpa, who posed as as Vin Diesel and Abumhenre, who posed as Tom Hanks, were sentenced by the court and will also forfeit crime proceeds of N4.1 million to the government, EFCC says.
“#SayNoToCyberCrime: Henry Ofeyi, David Afatakpa and David Abumhenre just bagged prison terms for engaging in cybercrime. Ofeyi posed as Dexter Smith, Afatakpa as Vin Diesel and Abumhenre as Tom Hanks. The N4.1 million recovered from them was ordered forfeited to the FG”, the tweet from the official Twitter account of the agency announced this morning on the social networking site.
#SayNoToCyberCrime: Henry Ofeyi, David Afatakpa and David Abumhenre just bagged prison terms for engaging in cybercrime. Ofeyi posed as Dexter Smith, Afatakpa as Vin Diesel and Abumhenre as Tom Hanks. The N4.1 million recovered from them was ordered forfeited to the FG. pic.twitter.com/OG25sZfmFK
— EFCC Nigeria (@officialEFCC) May 4, 2018
In a related development, Ibadan zonal office of EFCC on Thursday, April 26, this year arraigned one Ilesanmi Babatunde Yemi, a final year accounting student of Ekiti State University, before Justice Joyce Abdulmalik of the Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan, Oyo State, on a 5-count charge of fraud and romance scam.
Yemi allegedly specializes in love and romance scam on internet. The defendant, while posing as American Army Officer by the name ‘Dennis Martinez’ serving in Libya allegedly engages unsuspecting ladies on the Internet in a dating and romance scam through which he fleeces them of their money, according to EFCC.
The last victims were two ladies from Australia which he allegedly swindled to the tune of $500 (five hundred dollars), in tranches, the agency says.
One of the counts reads:
“That you, Ilesanmi Babatunde Yemi, sometimes in year 2014, at Ibadan within the jurisdiction of this Federal High Court, did directly take possession of the sum of 7,000 British Pounds only transferred to you by one Carolyn Hide which sum you knew or reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of your unlawful act and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 (As Amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act”.
The defendant however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
In view of his plea, counsel to the EFCC, Sanusi Galadanchi, applied for a date for trial and urged the court to remand the defendant in prison custody, EFCC says.
However, the defense counsel, Olatunde Adeoye informed the court of a pending application praying the court to admit the defendant to bail. He also urged the court to allow the defendant remain in the EFCC’s custody pending the hearing of his bail application.
Justice Abdulmalik, however, ordered that the defendant be remanded in the Federal Prison, Agodi and adjourned to May 8, 2018 for hearing of the bail application.