19-year-old Impersonates American Pilot, Defrauds Woman Of N27m
A 19-year-old secondary school leaver, Chigemezu Arikibe, has been tracked down by the police after using fake social media accounts to swindle a Cambodian woman to the tune of $75,000 (N27m at N360 to 1$).
To woo his victim identified simply as Sophanmia, Arikibe reportedly paraded himself on Facebook and Instagram as an American pilot working for a British airline.
City Round gathered that after establishing a relationship with the woman, Arikibe offered to send her expensive gift items and $500,000, for investment in real estate business in Cambodia.
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The suspect reportedly told Sophanmia that he would send the parcel to her through a courier in Indonesia and asked her to send $800 for the service.
He was said to have contacted his friend in Indonesia to act as a courier agent and collect the money from his victim.
After sending the money, Arikibe came up with excuses why the parcel could not be delivered and persuaded the woman to send more money accumulating into $75,000.
It was learnt the woman alerted the Nigeria Embassy in Cambodia when she discovered that “the American pilot,” communicating with her was calling from Nigeria and not the United States.
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The embassy was said to have alerted the Nigeria Police and operatives of the Inspector-General of Police Intelligence Response Team led by DCP Abba Kyari went after Arikibe.
A police source told our correspondent that the suspect was trailed to the Mbaitoli area of Imo State where he is based.
“The suspect was arrested with the SIM card and the phone he used in committing the crime and when we went through the phone, we saw chats between him and the woman.
“Upon interrogation, the suspect confessed to everything and he also said there was a man in Indonesia who helped him pulled out the money from a USA bank account. He claimed to be an American and that was why he gave the woman an American bank account. The worst was that the woman went and borrowed the money from the bank,” the source stated.
Arikibe, while confessing to the crime, said he learnt Internet fraud from his friend within one week and he started on his own.
He said, “I attended Community School, in the Eziooha area of Mbaitoli and graduated in October 2018. It was Ugochukwu my friend who taught me how to do Internet fraud. I opened a fake Fakebook account with the name Frank William and on Instagram I was Patrick William.
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“I uploaded the pictures of an American pilot on my fake Fakebook and Instagram pages. The pilot later discovered that I used his pictures and he started complaining. He even said he had been arrested three times by the police.
“My Facebook account was later blocked, then I focused on Instagram, where I met the client (Sophanmia). I followed her and we started chatting. I told her I am a pilot and we started discussing about life.
“I told her I wanted to send expensive clothes, shoes, wrist watches and the sum of $500,000 to her. I told her that the $500,000 would be invested in real estate business.”
The teenager explained that he sent pictures of the purported items and the money to the victim which convinced her to send money for the courier service.
He added, “I told her that I have sent the money through a courier company and she would have to pay customs tax. My friend in Indonesia acted like the courier company and they contacted her.
“She was given the first bill of $800 and she paid. My Indonesian friend called the woman again and told her that the goods had been seized and they told her to pay $2,700.
“She paid the money and they asked her to pay another money which was $6,200. She paid several other monies to have the goods released. She ended up paying $75,000 and I got my share.”
(City Round Via Punch)
Elon Musk Puts Twitter’s Value At $20bn
Elon Musk has put the current value of Twitter at $20 billion, less than half the $44 billion he paid for the social media platform just five months ago, according to an internal email seen by American news media.
The email to employees referred to a new stock compensation program in the San Francisco-based company and the allocation of shares to employees of X Holdings, Twitter’s umbrella company since Musk purchased it in late October.
The compensation plan values the platform at $20 billion, slightly more than Snapchat’s parent company Snap ($18.2 billion) or Pinterest ($18.7 billion), both of which are publicly traded, unlike Twitter.
Musk, who is also the chief executive of Tesla Inc. and aerospace group SpaceX, said that Twitter would allow its employees to cash in shares every six months.
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A query from AFP emailed to Twitter’s communications department generated an automatic response in the form of a poop emoji.
In the internal email, Musk describes the brutal contraction in Twitter’s value. He says the platform faced such grave financial difficulties that at one point it was on the verge of bankruptcy.
“Twitter was trending to lose ~$3B/year,” Musk said in a message posted Saturday on the platform.
He cited a revenue drop of $1.5 billion a year and a debt-servicing burden of the same amount — leaving it with “only 4 months of money.”
Musk, Twitter’s majority shareholder, added simply: “Extremely dire situation.”
But he then said that “It looks like we will break even” in the second quarter of the year, with advertisers — many of whom fled the platform after the mercurial billionaire bought it — now beginning to return.
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Since taking control, Musk has sharply cut the group’s payroll from 7,500 employees to fewer than 2,000.
He said in the email that he sees a “clear but difficult path” to a valuation of $250 billion, without specifying how long that might take.
However, in another setback for the company, fragments of Twitter’s source code were published on the development platform GitHub, the latter told AFP on Sunday, confirming a report by the New York Times.
GitHub removed the files from its site at Twitter’s request, but their brief exposure could allow hackers to identify flaws in Twitter’s original software.
Obasanjo’s Father Not Fully Yoruba, Might Be Igbo Man – Fani-Kayode
Former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode has expressed the belief that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo’s father might not be a Yoruba man.
Fani-Kayode said Obasanjo’s ‘silence’ over a recent comment by Igbo businessman Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu that Yoruba people are “political rascals,” was an indication that the former president’s father was an Igbo man, not Yoruba.
Iwuanyanwu said Igbo people had invested so much in Nigeria and were not going to yield to the pressure of people asking them to leave.
Speaking in Awka, Anambra State, on Saturday, Iwuanyanwu berated Yoruba people.
However, Fani-Kayode said he was disappointed that Obasanjo was silent over Iwuanyanwu’s anti-Yoruba comments.
Taking to his Twitter handle, Fani-Kayode wrote: “The fact that our revered leader and one of the fathers of our nation, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, can sit there and say nothing when Emmanuel Iwanyanwu, who I have always respected, describes the entire Yoruba race as “rascals” that the Igbo “will DEAL with” tells me that the rumour that he is NOT a fully-fledged Yoruba man and that his father was an Igbo may well be true.
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“Whatever the case, this is not the OBJ I once knew, loved, defended and worked so hard for. Something has gone wrong. No one could have made a statement against ANY tribe in the presence of the old OBJ that we all knew and respected and got away with it.”
Following the outcome of the presidential election, there was a face-off between Yorubas and Igbos in Lagos.
The fallout was due to the victory of the Labour Party, LP, presidential candidate, Peter Obi, in Lagos State.
Against the backdrop of Obi’s victory, Igbos were warned against voting during the governorship election in Lagos.
Report Banks Not Dispensing Cash To State NLC’s Office — LABOUR
The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, has directed workers to report banks not dispensing cash to its state councils, ahead of planned strike over the scarcity of naira notes across the country.
This is even as leaders of NLC have scheduled a meeting of National Executive Council, NEC, meeting tomorrow to take a final decision on Wednesday’s planned nationwide strike.
It gathered NLC gave the directive weekend after its NEC meeting on Friday where affiliate unions and state councils of NLC were directed to monitor the cash situation and how banks were dispensing naira notes to workers.
Speaking in an interview with Vanguard yesterday, President of NLC, Joe Ajaero, said: “Our affiliate unions and state councils were directed to monitor the situation. Workers have been directed to report banks not dispensing cash to NLC state offices.
”Our state councils and affiliates unions are to report back to us the prevailing situations in their states by Tuesday when we will hold another NEC meeting. The report we get from them will determine our next line of action.
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”In fact, the seven days ultimatum we gave will expire on Tuesday (March 28). The report will determine our final decision. As we speak, I am out on the streets of Abuja monitoring the situation.
”I am aware also that officials of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, were in Lagos on Saturday and Sunday to monitor the situation.”
It was gathered that part of the decision was that “the nationwide strike will be a sit-at-home and picketing of the headquarters of the CBN and all its offices nationwide on Wednesday, March 29, 2023. If the strike commences, it would continue until cash becomes available to all Nigerians.”
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