Daily fraud update: 20th May

Chris Lee

Namibian men still under fraud investigation

Two men from Namibia are still being investigated by authorities in the country over claims that they were involved in foreign exchange fraud.

Michael Amushelelo and Gregory Beni Cloete are having their affairs probed by police in the country.

On Monday, they appeared in court in the capital city of Windhoek and were told that their case was being delayed until the middle of August.

The two men have been charged with carrying out both fraud and money laundering.

They allegedly built a Ponzi scheme that has the supposed purpose of forex trading.

Allegedly, they received a sum of over N$17m from traders despite not having authorisation to do so from the relevant authorities.

This sum is roughly equivalent to US$1.14m or £930,000.

It is alleged that they did this over a period of around four years stretching from 2015 to last year.

Specifically, they are accused of contravening both the Banking Institutions Act and the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The two defendants are now on bail, with their bonds valued at N$35,000 per person.

They are not permitted to leave the Windhoek area without first speaking to police – and they also have to show up at the police station three times per week.

Foreign exchange crime is prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, in part because of problems with the values of some local currencies.

There is a thriving black market for stronger currencies such as US dollars, and fraud is rife.

The case has been covered in the Namibian press for some time, and was first reported last year.

At that time, a range of photographs were published showing the two men wearing expensive clothes and appearing in front of high-end cars.

Postings from Amushelelo’s Instagram account show the two of them attending functions together.

“Still going strong 💪🏽 till this day. @gregory_cloete,” read the caption on one of the images.

Ukrainian hacker arrested over crypto fraud claims

A man from Ukraine has been arrested by the country’s security services over claims that he was involved in hacking a database containing e-wallet information.

The man, who has been named only as Sanix, is understood to have attempted to sell the database containing around 773m email addresses.

It also contained a number of passwords plus financial information such as e-wallets and PayPal account data.

In a statement, the Security Service elaborated on what was taken.

It included “PIN codes for bank cards, e-wallets of cryptocurrencies, PayPal accounts, information about computers hacked for further use in botnets and for organizing DDoS attacks,” it said.

The agency found “computer equipment with two terabytes of stolen information, phones with evidence of illegal activities and cash from illegal transactions,” it said.

It said that people from the US as well as from the EU were targeted by Sanix.


Chris Lee

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