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UK citizen and Nigerian socialite, Habeeb Dixon, regains freedom US prison

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A British citizen, Habeeb Dixon, who was extradited to the US in 2020 to face charges he oversaw a series of business email compromise attacks to steal over $2m from unwary accounts departments and individuals, has regained his freedom.

Habeeb Audu was indicted in America on counts of bank and wire fraud, money laundering, conspiracy, and identity theft.

The now 54-year-old, who operated under the alias Dickson, lived in London and also had Nigerian citizenship. He allegedly was part of a crew scattered around the globe. Its members were said to include: Dominic Labiran, who remains at large and was also based in the UK; Abdulai “Kenny” Saaka, who earlier pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit money laundering, operated out of Atlanta in the US; and Alade “Eluku” Sodiq, whose case still pending, lived in the United Arab Emirates. Another member of the group, who agreed to work with US law enforcement, was not named.

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Individuals and companies said to have been scammed by the gang were scattered around the world, too, located in the US, Canada, the UK, Italy, and UAE. Audu’s case is being heard in the Southern District of New York (Manhattan) where many of the defrauded banks are headquartered.

When the going was good, Habeeb Dixon was a toast of so many Nigerian Fuji and Juju musician. Adewale Ayuba waxed a song for him with some melodious lyrics.

Eni ti o le na wo, ku sun seyin, ko sun seyin

Na wo, na wo la wa nfe, Dixon o je euro, o je pounds, o tun je naira ni le

E ni ba ri ko be ri

According to the charge book, it was said the crew used combinations of stolen personal information, spoofed phone numbers, fake email accounts, and even voice-altering software to contact bank staff and con them into handing over control of accounts by posing as legit customers.

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Rather than plunder big accounts via large wire transfers, this group allegedly went after after holders of personal checking accounts and small businesses. The operation was still said to be lucrative enough; it is claimed that from 2013 until 2019 when he was arrested, Audu and his team were able to pocket more than $2m in proceeds from preying on smaller targets with various types of scams.

For example, one alleged favorite trick of the group was to phone up a bank using a spoofed number and voice-altering software in order impersonate a customer. Once they had convinced the bank of their identity, the scammer would transfer money from the mark’s savings account into checking, then ask for a new debit card to be sent to the scammer’s address, it is claimed. This, it is alleged, allowed the group to easily drain the money from the victim’s savings account via transfers or purchases.

That’s not to say they didn’t go after bigger targets on occasion, according to the Feds.

Other alleged schemes were more along the lines of traditional business email compromise (BEC) operations: calling up an organization masquerading as a legit supplier, and asking the business to update its bank records so that money destined for the supplier actually when into the scammers’ accounts. The victim in one such scam – a restaurant in Ohio – was said to have been convinced to transfer more than $2m, though it is unclear how much of that was actually siphoned out of the account before the crime was uncovered, it is claimed.

The whole operation came tumbling down, it is said, when in 2019 another member of the crew agreed to work with US law enforcement. Under the oversight of police, that person convinced Audu and other members to agree to launder what they thought were the proceeds from another attack, but was in fact payment set up by the Feds to catch them in the act, it is claimed.®

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Crime

OPC arrests two for stealing machine in Lagos

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Members of the Oodua People’s Congress, on Monday, arrested two men who allegedly stole a vulcanising machine from a store at Mile 12, in the Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos State.

The Chief Security Officer of the Gani Adams-led faction of the OPC, Rotimi Obayemi, that the suspects confessed to stealing the machine after it was found with them.

He identified the suspects as Sanni Aminu, 30, and Ibrahim Salisu, 29.

Obayemi said, “I was called by the OPC chairman who told me that they had caught two thieves. On arrival, I interrogated the suspects in Hausa because they did not understand English. They both confessed that they broke into a store at Underbridge, Mile 12, and stole the machine.”

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Aminu, who claimed to be a wheelbarrow pusher at the Mile 12 Market, said, “I accompanied my brother last night. I didn’t know that he was going to steal the machine.”

The Lagos State Chairman, OPC, Okanlomo Adeniyi, said the police had been informed of the incident and that the suspects and the stolen machine would be handed over to the authorities.

Okanlomo said, “We have reported the case to the Ikeja division of the police command; they are on their way. We will hand over the suspects and the stolen machine to them when they get here.”

He noted that the case would be monitored to ensure that the machine was returned to its owner.

As of the time of filing this report, attempts to speak to the state Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, were unsuccessful.

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BREAKING: Kidnap kingpin, Evans, sentenced to 21 years imprisonment

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Kidnap kingpin Chukwudumeme Onwuamadike, also known as Evans, and his co-defendant, Victor Aduba, have been sentenced to 21 years imprisonment for kidnapping one Sylvanus Hafia.

The sentence was issued by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Ikeja Special Offences Court on Monday.

Both convicts had been accused of conspiring and kidnapping Sylvanus Ahanonu Hafia at about 5:30 pm on June 23, 2014, at Kara Street, Amuwo Odofin in Lagos.

After succeeding with the abduction, they demanded $2 million as ransome.

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Pleading not guilty, Justice Taiwo proceeded with the sentence on the grounds that it would serve as a deterrent to other aspiring kidnappers.

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Flutterwave accused of data breach, unauthorise access to customer account (Photos)

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An investigative journalist and Twitter lord, David Hundeyin, has again attacked Flutterwave over data breach and unathourised access to his inactive Barter account, a lifestyle payments solution by the company.

This won’t be the first time Hundeyin would be dragging the fintech company. Recall that Freelanews reports how Flutterwave’s CEO was being investigated over allegations of financial misconduct as a result of an exclusive report by the controversial journalist.

In a series of post on his Twitter handle, Hundeyin claimed his account was logged into and threatened the platform of serious consequences if any fraud is perpetrated by impersonating him.

“Hi @theflutterwave. I have sent an email requesting immediate deactivation of my inactive Barter account.

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“Someone has somehow gained access to that account without hacking my email which is impossible without an internal data breach from your end,” he wrote.

whatsapp image 2022 09 14 at 4.38.12 pm (1)

whatsapp image 2022 09 14 at 4.38.12 pm

While analysing the break-in, the journalist explained that his username was messed with.

“The person logged into my Barter account which is paired to a Wema Bank account linked to my BVN (which is viewable under the ‘security’ tab), and changed the name on the account.

“I cannot begin to describe the amount of trouble you are in if any fraud is carried out in my name,” he submitted.

whatsapp image 2022 09 14 at 4.38.31 pm

whatsapp image 2022 09 14 at 4.38.31 pm (1)

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