Gombe State Police Command on Tuesday paraded some suspected cyber fraudsters. One of them, 16-year-old Gabriel Michael, said he was influenced by the lifestyle and songs of a Nigerian musician, Naira Marley.
Before now, the theme of love, hard work, and good neighborliness is a common thematic preoccupation in the works of Nigerian musicians. Nowadays, however, illicit sex, fraud, illegitimate, instant wealth and cybercrime have taken the center stage.
As their influence is spreading like wildfire, the musicians are making disciples of many impressionable young people and indoctrinating them into a life of crime and easy virtue.
Such is the case of 16-year-old Gabriel Michael, who was arrested by the Gombe State Police Command for cyber fraud.
Michael, who was paraded on Tuesday by the police, told one of our correspondents that he took to cybercrime from watching up-and-coming Nigerian musician, Naira Marley, on the screen.
“I learned to hack through tutorials on YouTube; for so many months I was at it. The lifestyle of a Nigerian musician, Naira Marley, the way he spends money influenced me. Marley talks about being a Yahoo boy (cyber fraudster). My addiction to computers started at the age of seven,” punchng.com
Though the police put his age at 18, Michael, in a chat with one of our correspondents, insisted he was 16 years old.
He said, “I’m 16 years old, from Kaltungo Local Government Area of Gombe State. I finished from the Nationwide Academy in Gombe. I was arrested for hacking into someone’s account.”
In his response to how he succeeded in the hacking account, he said, “I generate software like IP protocol, Angry IP scans, linos and I use them to do the job.”
Michael, however, begged for mercy, saying
“I regret my actions. I pray to be pardoned so that I can use my talent in other to work for them (law enforcement agency). I can channel my ideas to legal ventures but the challenge has always been that nobody encourages one to use his talent to do good things. For instance, friends will push you to do so because you are making money. My ambition is to work hard to become a member of the Department of Security Services.”punchng.com
Michael added that his parents did not know about his criminal activities.
“I hide under the cover of my job; I’m into aluminum works. My parents did not suspect my heinous activities,” he said
Michael narrated how he hacked into the bank account of his victim, Deborah Tanko, from whose account he allegedly withdrew N187,000.
He said, “Once you can guess a name or number you will formulate it. Usually, I start by getting your telephone number from your social media platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. After getting your names, telephone number and your bank, I will formulate it, and attempt to get your personal database from the bank and thereafter generate your token for the transaction. I don’t usually exceed two attempts; if you do it thrice, you will be caught.”
Earlier while parading the suspect, the Police Public Relations Officer, SP Mary Malum, said Michael was arrested on August 30, 2019, around the PZ Quarters, a commercial area of Gombe, for fraud, cheating, and cybercrime.
He was alleged to have defrauded Tanko, aged 40 years, of N187,100.
Malum said, “Michael used his computer to hack into Tanko’s account and withdrew the sum of N187,100 cash from her GT Bank account and the suspect has confessed to the crime. Exhibits recovered from Michael include one mobile handset, N10,000 cash, two pairs of shoes and clothes, amounting to about N33,000. The items were bought with the proceeds of the illegal withdrawal.
“The suspect is under investigation with a view to charging him to court. In line with the IGP’s vision and mission of the Operation Puff Adder meant to reclaim the public space from heinous criminal elements that are threatening internal security, the Gombe State Police Command is determined to ensure that Gombe State remains peaceful.” punchng.com