The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday arrested four students of the University of Port Harcourt for their alleged involvement in Internet fraud.
The suspects were said to have been apprehended at their hideout on Chibiak Avenue, Elioparanwo, Ada George, Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
A statement by the Public Affairs Department of the EFCC, Port Harcourt zone, made available to one of our correspondents, identified the suspects as Prince Hyacinth, Rex Emadifie Oghene, Odili Ifeanyi and Uduak Williams.
The four suspects allegedly defrauded 15 victims of $111,500 (N43,104,785).
“Upon their arrest, the following items were recovered; one Tecno Spark 4, belonging to Prince Hyacinth; one iPhone 11 Pro Max, two Infinix Hot and one Apple laptop, belonging to Odili Ifeanyi; one iPhone 7 and two iPhone 11, belonging to Rex Emadifie Oghene; and one iPhone 8+, one Acer laptop and one HP laptop, belonging to Uduak Samuel Williams.
“Preliminary investigation established that the suspects were majorly involved in romance scam and also acted as pickers for organised ring of fraudsters.
While Prince Hyacinth paraded himself as a Spain-based marine engineer to bait his victims, Rex Emadifie Oghene posed as a rig engineer based in the United States,” the EFCC statement read.
It was further disclosed that two other suspects, Ifeanyi and Williams, presented themselves as rig/marine engineers to defraud their victims.
“Between the four, a total heist of $111,500 from 15 victims has passed through their hands. The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded,” the statement added.
Reacting, the spokesman for the university, Sam Kpenu, said the suspects were not students of UNIPORT, as the institution was not in session.
Kpenu said, “Anybody can claim to be a student of UNIPORT because our institution has a unique name. So, we are going to get their details to confirm if actually they are our students.
“UNIPORT is not in session and no one is on our campus. We have asked all the students to go home according to the Federal Government’s directives. So, for anyone to claim to be our student, we need to confirm.
“We cannot accept liability of anyone arrested somewhere claiming to be our student. They are not students of University of Port Harcourt.”