Nigerian Crypto Scammer Sentenced to Three Years for Running International Pig Butchering Scheme
Last week, Nigerian national Eze Harrison Arinze was sentenced for his role in defrauding 34 victims in 13 countries, resulting in $592,000 in losses, after a successful investigation and prosecution by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). The Nigerian Federal High Court sentenced Arinze to three years and forfeited various assets including $554,000 worth of cryptocurrency, fiat bank accounts, and a parcel of real property.
TRM is proud to support EFCC in identifying and disrupting the illicit use of cryptocurrency.
According to a release by the EFCC, Arinze created a fictitious cryptocurrency investment platform called digitrades.net and then convinced victims from the United States, Germany, India, South Africa, and several other countries to send funds resulting in the theft of their cryptocurrency.
The case was investigated by EFCC Detective Ogunjobi Olalekan who was able to trace the victims’ payments to addresses associated with Arinze on the blockchain. Arinze solicited payments in bitcoin, TRX, and USDT on Tron.
At first Arinze used an account at a US-based exchange to collect payments from victims. After the US-based exchange froze Arinze’s account, Arinze used unhosted addresses to collect victims' funds prior to cashing out.
According to Detective Olalekan, “the EFCC is committed to working with our private and public sector partners from all over the world to disrupt cryptocurrency-related fraud schemes. This particular scheme was unique in that the subject was able to defraud victims in 13 different countries, using bitcoin, TRX, and USDT on TRON.”
The EFCC is Nigeria’s economic crime fighting agency and has long embraced the use of technology to target illicit actors. “The EFCC is working with private sector partners like TRM Labs to stay ahead of cybercriminals who are using technology to defraud citizens.”
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