INTERPOL Arrests Three Nigerians for Scamming Victims in 150 Countries

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•50,000 targeted victims identified

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

The International Police (Interpol) and the Nigerian Police have teamed up to smash a Nigerian cybercrime gang that allegedly scammed governments and companies in 150 countries since 2007.

A statement on the Interpol website yesterday said the year-long investigation code-named ‘Operation Falcon,’ resulted in the arrest of three Nigerian suspects in Lagos.
The three suspects were arrested following a joint INTERPOL, Group-IB and Nigeria Police Force cybercrime investigation.

It said the Nigerian nationals are believed to be members of a wider organised crime group responsible for distributing malware, carrying out phishing campaigns and extensive business email compromise scams.
The unnamed suspects are alleged to have developed phishing links, domains, and mass mailing campaigns in which they impersonated representatives of organisations and then used the campaigns to disseminate 26 malware programmes, spyware and remote access tools, including AgentTesla, Loki, Azorult, Spartan and the nanocore and Remcos Remote Access Trojans.

“These programmes were used to infiltrate and monitor the systems of victim organisations and individuals, before launching scams and syphoning funds”, it said.
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.
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, via the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Abuja, in taking swift action.

Group-IB’s participation in the operation came under Project Gateway, a framework which enables INTERPOL to cooperate with private partners and receive threat data directly.
INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Director, Mr. Craig Jones, highlighted the outstanding cooperation between all those involved in the investigation and underlined the importance of public-private relationships in disrupting virtual crimes.

“This group was running a well-established criminal business model. From infiltration to cashing in, they used a multitude of tools and techniques to generate maximum profits.
“We look forward to seeing additional results from this operation,” he said.
The statement noted that at a time of increased threat, members of the public, businesses and organisations are reminded to protect themselves from online scams by following the advice featured in INTERPOL’s #WashYourCyberHands, #OnlineCrimeIsRealCrime and #BECareful campaigns.

tigation code-named ‘Operation Falcon,’ resulted in the arrest of three Nigerian suspects in Lagos.
The three suspects were arrested following a joint INTERPOL, Group-IB and Nigeria Police Force cybercrime investigation.

It said the Nigerian nationals are believed to be members of a wider organised crime group responsible for distributing malware, carrying out phishing campaigns and extensive business email compromise scams.
The unnamed suspects are alleged to have developed phishing links, domains, and mass mailing campaigns in which they impersonated representatives of organisations and then used the campaigns to disseminate 26 malware programmes, spyware and remote access tools, including AgentTesla, Loki, Azorult, Spartan and the nanocore and Remcos Remote Access Trojans.

“These programmes were used to infiltrate and monitor the systems of victim organisations and individuals, before launching scams and syphoning funds”, it said.
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.
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, via the INTERPOL National Central Bureau in Abuja, in taking swift action.

Group-IB’s participation in the operation came under Project Gateway, a framework which enables INTERPOL to cooperate with private partners and receive threat data directly.
INTERPOL’s Cybercrime Director, Mr. Craig Jones, highlighted the outstanding cooperation between all those involved in the investigation and underlined the importance of public-private relationships in disrupting virtual crimes.

“This group was running a well-established criminal business model. From infiltration to cashing in, they used a multitude of tools and techniques to generate maximum profits.
“We look forward to seeing additional results from this operation,” he said.
The statement noted that at a time of increased threat, members of the public, businesses and organisations are reminded to protect themselves from online scams by following the advice featured in INTERPOL’s #WashYourCyberHands, #OnlineCrimeIsRealCrime and #BECareful campaigns.