Washington DC Woman Held Captive By Facebook Fraudster Freed By Nigerian Police

–Over $48,000 extorted from former civil servant in one year of captivity

By Amos Fofung

Barely two weeks after Nigerian influencer Ramon Abbas, known online as “hushpuppi” was arrested by Dubia police and extradited to the U.S. to face charges ranging from massive money laundering schemes – some involving American citizens, yet another American citizen has fallen prey to a Nigerian fraudsters.

According to the Nigerian Police, an American woman, purported to have been lured to Nigeria by a man she met on Facebook has being rescued after she was held captive for more that a year.

A police spokesman, Frank Mba, said that the 34-year-old man, Chukwuebuka Obiaku, had persuaded the woman to come to Nigeria “under the pretext of love and deceitfully married”.

The woman, said to be a retired civil servant from Washington DC, arrived Nigeria in February 2019, and later tied nuptial knots with the alleged suspect the following month. But he then held her captive in a hotel and extorted $48,000 from her.

“He also forcefully collected and took control of her credit and debit cards as well as the operation of her bank accounts including the receipt of her monthly retirement benefits and allowances over the period of 15 months,” Mba said.

The identity of the 46-year-old woman has not made public but Police say Mr Obiaku “also used the victim as a front to defraud her associates and other foreign personalities and companies”.

Officers rescued the victim in the Meran area of Lagos state after they were tipped off by “a patriotic and civic-minded Nigerian”, the police said. The woman is said to have been held against her will for 16 months in a hotel room.

From a small bedroom in Ikeja, the capital of Lagos State in southwestern Nigeria to lusurious apartments in downtown Los Angeles in the United States, Nigerian online fraudsters have become notorious for defrauding people of millions of dollars.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI has carried out several coveted crackdown on Nigerian fraudsters including the arrest of over 300 people — the bulk in Nigeria and the U.S. —in an internationally coordinated law enforcement operation aimed at disrupting a multi-billion-dollar internet scam in March of 2019.

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