Metro & Crime

INTERPOL arrests three Nigerians for internet fraud in 150 countries

International Police Organisation (INTERPOL) said it had arrested three Nigerians for cyber-crime targeted at government agencies and private sector companies in over 150 countries since 2017. The suspects were apprehended in a joint INTERPOL, Group-IB and the Nigeria Police Force cybercrime investigation called Operation Falcon. The INTERPOL made the disclosure in a statement published on its website on Wednesday, according to Nairametrics.

It said the Nigerians were believed to be members of a wider organised crime group responsible for distributing malware, carrying out phishing campaigns and extensive Business Email Compromise (BEC) scams.

The INTERPOL said the suspects developed phishing links, domains, and mass mailing campaigns in which they impersonated representatives of organisations and then used these campaigns to disseminate 26 malware programmes, spyware and remote access tools, including AgentTesla, Loki, Azorult, Spartan and the nanocore and Remcos Remote Access Trojans. It said: “These programmes were used to infiltrate and monitor the systems of victim organisations and individuals, before launching scams and syphoning funds. “According to Group-IB, the prolific gang is believed to have compromised government and private sector companies in more than 150 countries since 2017.

“Group-IB was also able to establish that the gang is divided into subgroups with a number of individuals still at large. While investigations are still ongoing, some 50,000 targeted victims have been identified so far.” According to the statement, the year-long investigation saw INTERPOL’s Cybercrime and Financial Crime units work closely with Group-IB to identify and locate threats, and ultimately, assist the Nigerian Police Force, through the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Abuja, in taking swift action.

INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Director, Craig Jones, highlighted the outstanding cooperation between all those involved in the investigation while also pointing out the importance of public-private relationships in disrupting virtual crimes.


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