A 31-year-old internet fraudster, Adio Opeyemi Michael, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for defrauding a 72-year-old Dutch woman of €200,000 (about N40.6 million) in a romance scam.
The suspect, who is a native of Owu Local Government Area of Ogun State, was said to have met his victim, identified simply as Jeanet De Jonge, on Netlog dating site and pretended to be a 41-year-old American citizen working as a chef in a Nigerian restaurant and needs a wife.
Spokesman for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, while confirming the report, told Vanguard that the suspect’s profile actually attracted Jeanet and she eventually began sending him money through Western Union and Money Gram.
He further disclosed that the suspect collected various sums on the pretext that he was going to use the money to perfect his travel plans and obtain the required documents that would enable him travel to Holland to join or visit Jeanet. But his inability or refusal to honour the invitation from Jeanet prompted her to write a petition to the EFCC.
Sources at the EFCC told Vanguard that operatives of the anti-graft agency used information provided by the victim in her petition to track and apprehend the suspect.
Meanwhile, the suspect in his confessional statement said: “She was sending me money monthly, ranging from $800 to $900 from June 2012, through Western Union Money transfer and Money Gram to the extent that Western Union blocked her access.
“So, she requested that I should go to London to enable her send more money there. I contacted a friend in London called Osas Odiah, who was supposed to receive the money and dispatch same to me in Nigeria.
“She first sent €2,000 to my friend’s account in London and he didn’t remit the money to me. I later opened a Keystone Bank Forex Trade account through which she sent me money.”
According to Wilson, the suspect will be arraigned in court as soon as investigation is concluded.