INTERPOL has arrested three Nigerian citizens suspected of malware-assisted cyber frauds across Southeast Asia in an operation codenamed ‘Killer Bee’.
The three are suspected of being part of a syndicate that uses a malicious remote access trojan called Agent Tesla, which is used to reroute financial transactions and steal confidential online connection details from organisations, including oil and gas companies in North Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia.
The INTERPOL-led sting operation conducted simultaneously in the Lagos suburb of Ajegunie and Benin City led to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria, arresting the three.
When arrested, the three men had fake documents, fraudulent invoices, and forged official letters in their possession.
One of the scammers, Hendrix Omorume, faces a 12-month prison sentence after being charged and convicted of three counts of financial fraud. The other two remain on trial.
“Through its global police network and constant monitoring of cyberspace, INTERPOL had the globally sourced intelligence needed to alert Nigeria to a serious security threat where millions could have been lost without swift police action,’ said Craig Jones, Director of Cybercrime, INTERPOL.
Operation Killer Bee involved INTERPOL’s General Secretariat headquarters, NCBs and law enforcement agencies from 11 countries — Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Cybercrime is spreading at a fast pace, with new trends constantly emerging. Through operations like Killer Bee, INTERPOL supports EFCC in keeping pace with new technologies and understanding the possibilities they create for criminals and how they can be used as tools for fighting cybercrime,” said Abdulkarim Chukkol, EFCC’s Director of Operations.