The International Criminal Police Organization, Interpol, has nabbed a South Africa based Nigerian, James Aliyu, suspected to be the brain behind alleged $12 million scam.
Aliyu, who arrested on Wednesday, in his Sandton luxury estate, in connection, is said to be involved in an alleged romance and business email compromise scam from which he has raked up a whooping R196m.
According to reports, Aliyu who appeared in the Randburg magistrate’s court shortly after being arrested, is a very popular figure in the South African social circles. Courtesy his lavish lifestyle, including holidays and excessive spending on luxury items for himself and his girlfriend, Aliyu is said to be very prominent and well-known on Instagram as Oldsoldier, where he has 17,000 followers,
Aliyu was nabbed after a near six-year-long investigation into his alleged fraudulent activities. His arrest, according to sources, followed a multi-agency investigation, including Interpol, the US department of homeland security investigations and the US Secret Service. He is alleged to have been in contact with several major convicted and suspected fraudsters from around the world, a reason he is considered a major fraud player.
Aliyu is alleged to be part of an international fraud syndicate, some of whose members have already been nabbed and convicted in the US.
Among his alleged proceed of fraud is a fleet of luxury vehicles, including a Porche Cayenne, a Mercedes C220d and a Mercedes-Benz G Class luxury SUV. His is also noted to frolic on luxury island resorts and luxury holidays in Dubai and the US.
Although the South African Reserve Bank confiscated R231,000 contained in Aliyu’s Standard Bank account under Exchange Control Regulation 22E in In March 2020, he however, came into the limelight around August 2021 after accusing South African actress, Khanyi Mbau’s boyfriend, Terrence Kudzai Mushonga, of defrauding him in an elaborate luxury R1.2m-vehicle scam. He also alleged that a R720,000 Mercedes and a R500,000 Jaguar he bought from Mushonga were stolen and hijacked by criminals he alleged, worked for Mushonga.
He is expected to appear in the Randburg magistrate’s court on Tuesday, July 5, where prosecutors are expected to begin proceedings for his extradition for trial in the US.