The Lagos Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC said it has arrested five alleged internet fraudsters, including one Adedamola Adewale with the username, adeherself, a self-acclaimed female social media influencer, for their alleged involvement in internet-related fraud.
Adeherslf who claims to be a social media influence, model and video skit maker is one of the most popular of her kinds in Lagos (Nigeria). Her Instagram page where she has over 159,000 followers is her main platform. She also opened a YouTube page which has so far garnered over 1,300 subscribers.
In one of the videos, she posted two weeks ago on her YouTube page, titled ‘How Jasi are your parents’!!!, Adeherself was seen with her parents, making a joke about the names of popular Nigerian musicians.
The EFCC said in a statement that:
“The five suspects were apprehended in different areas of Lagos during a raid by operatives.”
“While Adewale, 20, and his accomplice, Lamina Hamzat Ajibola, were arrested at the Agungi area of Lekki, Lagos State, the trio of Israel Onyebuchi, Emmanuel Olayode and Valentine Nwokorie were picked up at the Ibeju-Lekki area of Lagos State.”
“The arrest of Adewale and Ajibola was sequel to intelligence linking them to online fraudulent activities with two brothers, Lasisi Wasiu Adeleke and Lasisi Riliwan Adeniyi, who are at large. They were arrested at a four-bedroom duplex belonging to the two run-away fraudsters.”
Intelligence also linked them with alleged flamboyant lifestyles.
“During interrogation, Adewale, a self-acclaimed model, who goes by the username @adeherself on Instagram, confessed to being a picker” in cybercrimes. He usually poses as a lady to hoodwink her foreign “preys”.
“Items recovered from the suspects include two Toyota Camry 2009 model cars, and a sum of N9,000,000.00 (Nine Million Naira only), which was found in Adewale’s account.”
“The other suspects; Onyebuchi, Olayode and Nwokorie were arrested for their alleged involvement in a romance scam. They were arrested during another raid, following a separate intelligence.”
Their arrest is coming less than a week after the arrest of Nigerian Dubai-based social media socialite, Hushpuppi and his associates by operatives of the Interpol and FBI for Internet fraud related to COVID-19 benefits scam.
According to the unconfirmed charges by the Interpol, Hushpuppi’s Internet fraud gang were accused of exploiting COVID-19 benefits to scam the American government by diverting the benefits from the unemployed victims. The report alleged that the gang must have stolen over $35 million in unemployed benefits.
However, the latest reports suggested that Hushpuppi’s Internet fraud gang could have defrauded American states and tax payers close to $100 million.
While he has never denied he was into Internet fraud, Hushpuppi has used social media, particularly, Instagram to taunt his critics. In one of his posts, he said “I wear people’s mortgage’, boasting of how rich he is.
Last year, Nigeria’s anti-corruption police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arrested Mompha, another Internet fraudster suspect who lives in Dubai for fraud in the region of several billions of Naira. Mompha has been banned from travelling abroad while he stands trial in Nigeria for money laundering, fraud and operating an illegal bureau de change.
While there is no known connection between Hushpuppi and adeherself as well as her associates, there are insinuations across social media that his flamboyant and lavish lifestyle which is predicated on an excessive public show of wealth is encouraging young people like her to take into Inter fraud and other social vices, just to live big and flaunt wealth.