Lagos, Nigeria (November 22, 2019) – Convicted online fraudster, Hope Olusegun Aroke, allegedly ran an international online scam from a Nigerian maximum security prison while serving his current jail term, according to Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). In 2012, Aroke was arrested for an international online scam and later sentenced for 24 years in prison. He is now accused of running a ‘mega scam’ worth over US$1 million while serving his sentence. The EFCC did neither disclose specifics on the scam nor details on how he achieved the various privileges as an inmate that enabled him to conduct the alleged crimes. The investigation is still ongoing.
Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) announced on November 19 in a statement that they started another investigation against Hope Olusegun Aroke who is alleged of running an international online scam while serving a 24-year jail term in a Nigerian maximum security prison.
Aroke is a convicted internet fraudster serving his sentence. In 2012, he was arrested and later sentenced for two counts of obtaining money by false pretense, cheque cloning, wire transfer, and forgery. According to the EFCC, he was ‘the arrow head of an intricate web of internet fraud scheme that traverse [sic] two continents.’
Now, the commission accused him of being the ‘mastermind of a mega scam’. Surprisingly, he supposedly perpetrated the international online scam, he is inculpated for, from the maximum security prison in Lagos, Nigeria. The scam is believed to be worth over US$1 million.
The commission did neither clarify specifics on the scam he is accused of, nor details on how Aroke was able to conduct the scam out of prison. However, EFCC believes that he was using a network of accomplices. Some of them are suspects of fraud and money laundering investigations themselves.
The EFCC also explained that Aroke was able to achieve certain privileges as an inmate including access to internet and a mobile phone – which is ‘against established standard practice’. Furthermore, he was able to attend social events. The commission reports that Aroke has been hospitalized for an undisclosed illness but instead of returning to prison, he resided in hotel lodges, met his family, and attended other social events.
The convicted fraudster was also able to freely transfer funds from prison. He had control over his wife’s bank account and opened two further fraudulent accounts with two Nigerian banks using Akinwunmi Sorinmade as his alias. The authorities state various purchases such as real estate and a luxury car since he has been detained.
The EFCC investigation is still ongoing.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.