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Interpol South Africa has managed to arrest a 28-year-old Nigerian national who is believed to be part of a cybercrime ring involved in a string of dodgy onine schemes including phishing, internet scams and money laundering, the South African Police Service (SAPS) has said.

Authorities pounced on James Junior Aliyu and arrested him at a posh estate in Sandton, Johannesburg, earlier this week following a takedown operation.

“Just after 10:00 on Wednesday, 29 June 2022, members from the Interpol National Crime Bureau (NCB) in Pretoria with the assistance from members of the SAPS Gauteng Highway Patrol Unit swooped in on the upmarket estate where they effected the arrest,” said SAPS spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe.

Aliyu’s arrest is the result of an extensive investigation by law enforcement authorities from South Africa (SA) and the United States of America (USA).

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According to SAPS, James Junior Aliyu appeared before the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on the same day of his arrest, in connection with the online crimes he allegedly committed. The matter was subsequently postponed to 5 July and he will remain in custody, in the meantime.

“The cybercrime suspect who has been conducting his criminal activities from South Africa is accused of swindling dozens of US citizens millions in USD through email and text messages. Authorities in the USA, where the investigation originated and where most of his alleged victims are based, have applied for his extradition”

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe

In July 2021, Nigerian influence Ramon Abbas, also known as Hushpuppi pleaded guilty to money laundering in a US court. He and several others were found to have targeted multiple victims and landered the funds in banks all over the world. Abbas was considered a key roleplayer in a cybercrime network that ran a range of schemes, including transferring hundreds of millions of rands from a foreign financial institution and defrauding a US law firm.

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He was arrested in Dubai.

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