The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested Nigerian entrepreneur, Obinwanne Okeke of conspiracy to commit fraud running into the sum of 12 million US dollars.
This was disclosed in an affidavit made available to the press on Friday, August 15, by Marshall Ward, a special agent employed by the United States Department of Justice.
According to the information disclosed, the investigation was premised on a complaint lodged by representatives of Unatrac Holdings Limited for being victimized in the fraud.
In a painstaking investigation led by Ward, Obinwanne was fingered and subsequently arrested for wire fraud valued at over $12m.
According to the investigation, “In June 2018, Unatrac Holding Limited, the export sales office for Caterpillar heavy industrial and farm equipment, headquartered in the United Kingdom, contacted the FBI.
They reported that Unatrac had been victimised through an email compromise, which ultimately resulted in fraudulent wire transfers totalling nearly 11million US Dollars.
After reviewing the documentation provided by the representatives, the FBI opened an investigation in July 2018.”
The FBI discovered that after capturing the legitimate credentials of Unatrac’s Chief Financial Officer, the accused was able to log in and access the CFO’s entire Office365 account, which included all of his emails and various digital files, the logs indicated that between April 6 and April 20, 2018, the intruder accessed the CFO’s account 464 times, mostly from Internet Protocol (IP) addresses from Nigeria.
“With full access to the account, the intruder sent fraudulent wire transfer requests from the CFO’s email account to members of Unatrac’s internal financial team. The intruder also attached fake invoices to the emails to enhance the credibility of the requests,” the investigator stated.
The investigation, painstaking and far-reaching, lasted more than a year during which Obinwanne emerged as the principal culprit and has since been arrested while on his regular visit to the United States.