James Junior Aliyu, a 28-year-old Nigerian, has been arrested for allegedly defrauding dozens of US citizens of money totalling $12m.
Aliyu was arrested in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday in a “takedown operation” carried out by Interpol with assistance from members of the South African Police Service (SAPS).
According to a statement issued by the South African police, Aliyu is “believed to be part of a cybercrime ring involved in phishing, internet scams and money laundering”.
“Just after 10:00 on Wednesday, 29 June 2022, members from the Interpol National Crime Bureau (NCB) in Pretoria with the assistance from members of the SAPS Gauteng Highway Patrol Unit swooped in on the upmarket estate where they effected the arrest,” the statement reads.
“His arrest follows a widespread investigation involving law enforcement authorities from South Africa (SA) and the United States of America (USA).
“The cybercrime suspect who has been conducting his criminal activities from South Africa is accused of swindling dozens of US citizens millions in USD through email and text messages.”
The South African police said, “authorities in the US, where the investigation originated and where most of his alleged victims are based, have applied for his extradition”.
The police added that the suspect was charged to court the same day of his arrest and that the case would be heard on July 5.