A 29-year-old father of two, Akpojivi Joel Onoriode, described as kingpin of cybercrime, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), Uyo Zonal Office, Calabar, Cross River State.
The suspect, during his interaction with the EFCC operatives, said he wouldn’t want anyone to tell his children that he was into cybercrime, which was part of the reason he relocated from Delta State to Cross River State.
He said: “I was really known in my school then as a ‘Yahoo boy.’ I have two kids. I didn’t want to bring them up where people will say, ah! your father is a Yahoo boy. That was why I relocated my family from Asaba to Calabar. When I came out now and saw you people and the bus outside, my mind just told me there was a problem.”
Onoriode is one of the suspects arrested after the EFCC operatives carried out two separate raids of suspected internet fraudsters’ lairs on May 4 and 5, 2019. The EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, confirmed the story.
He said: “The Saturday morning operation led to the arrest of a known ‘Yahoo’ kingpin, Akpojivi Joel Onoriode, who is a graduate of Delta State University, Abraka. He is married and has two children.” Orilade said Onoriode was arrested in his lavishly furnished duplex located at Plot 10, Block VI, Unical Satellite Town, Calabar, which he confessed was purchased with proceeds from his illicit ‘Yahoo’ business.
He confessed that he had been in the “yahoo-yahoo” business for a long time and was known as “Blinks” or “Mr. White”. The suspect admitted that he currently operates an offshore account in China.
While conducting a search on the premises, three luxury cars – ZDX Acura car, E 300 Mercedes Benz and a Range Rover SUV – were recovered from him.
The Range Rover could, however, not be moved out of the premises with other exhibits due to mechanical problems. Other items recovered include, two iPhones, one Nokia phone, and documents of landed properties owned by the suspect. Orilade said:
“The morning raid on May 5, 2019 led to the arrest of Ifeanyi Chukwudi, Godwin Joseph and Iluobe Daniel. They were picked up at different locations within Calabar, following intelligence reports gathered by operatives of the commission, as a result of the high rate of cybercrime in the town. Chukwudi confessed that he specialised in love scam, admitting that he had made a lot of money from cybercrime.”
Chukwudi said: “I have defrauded women from United Kingdom. They usually pay me after we get engaged, and then, they will now want me to come over, that’s when they send me money and that’s how I get paid.”
Some of the items recovered from his apartment at Effiong Close, Satellite Town, Calabar include one iPhone 8 Plus, one HP laptop containing fraudulent letters of false claims, and nine SIM cards. Joseph and Daniel were arrested at Itagbor Agbeansa area of Calabar. A Toyota Camry LE, one HP laptop containing scam emails and several exotic phones were recovered from them. They will soon be charged to court.