The U.S. government has released names of 80 Nigerians suspected to be involved in fraud in the country.
The suspects who were arrested by the FBI are believed to belong to a coordinated fraud syndicate. The FBI narrated the strategies adopted by the alleged fraudsters leading to the swindling of innocent citizens.
According to a statement released by the U.S. authorities the suspects either played significant roles in the alleged fraud or acted as accomplices.
The United States attorney, Nick Hanna, said:
"This case is part of our ongoing efforts to protect Americans from fraudulent online schemes and to bring to justice those who prey upon American citizens and businesses.
"Today, we have taken a significant step to disrupt criminal networks that use BEC schemes, romance scams and other frauds to fleece victims.
"This indictment sends a message that we will identify perpetrators - no matter where they reside - and we will cut off the flow of ill-gotten gains."
Valentine Iro, 31, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, were named as lead suspects in the investigation.
The U.S. said the suspects often "used illicit money exchangers to move funds overseas, generally avoiding transferring the funds directly through banking institutions, the indictment alleges.
"To do this, Iro and Igbokwe coordinated the transfer of a victim's funds from a fraudulent bank account they controlled to U.S. bank accounts belonging to illicit money exchangers.
"Those money exchangers, in turn, used a Nigerian banking application to transfer other funds in naira (₦), the currency of Nigeria. From Nigerian bank accounts they controlled to the Nigerian bank accounts specified by Iro and Igbokwe;" the statement said.
The authorities said this strategy was used to transfer millions of dollars to Nigerian co-conspirators without directly transferring funds overseas.
Below is the full list of the 80 Nigerian suspects:
Header Image Credit: CBS Los Angeles