The INTERPOL and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have successfully arrested and extradited from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a Nigerian man, Mohammed Hassan Barau, for fraudulently obtaining about N492,750,000 under false pretence as a forex trader.
Force PRO, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement that: “the extant case involves a complaint filed by one Mr. Akinola Bayo Michael, who, in October 2021, sought to obtain foreign exchange (forex) for the purpose of purchasing a machine from the Netherlands. Mr. Michael sent a substantial sum of N492,750,000 only to the bank account of Mr. Mohammed Sulaiman.
“However, instead of facilitating the forex transaction as agreed, Mr. Sulaiman transferred the funds to another individual, Mr. Mohammed Hassan Barau.
“Barau, who resides in the United Arab Emirates, subsequently sent 513,000 Euros to Mr. Michael from Belgium, supposedly for the forex transaction. However, this transaction was flagged as fraudulent, leading Mr. Michael to return the funds to the sender.
Realizing that he had been a victim of fraud, Mr. Michael made multiple attempts to recover his money but was unsuccessful.
“The case took a significant turn when it was assigned to INTERPOL which launched an investigation into the matter. Recognizing the severity of the fraud and its international dimension, INTERPOL placed the prime suspect, Mr. Mohammed Hassan Barau, on a red alert list, thereby facilitating international cooperation in tracking and apprehending the suspect.”
The Force PRO further said Barau was arrested by INTERPOL in Abu Dhabi and subsequently extradited to Nigeria on September 27, 2023.
“His extradition marks a crucial milestone in the pursuit of justice for Michael. The successful extradition of Barau demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies, both within and outside Nigeria, to ensuring that perpetrators of criminal activities, particularly those with international ramifications, are held accountable for their actions,” the Force PRO stated.
He added that the case underscores the importance of vigilance and due diligence in financial transactions, especially in the era of increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes.
“We urge individuals and businesses to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of financial transactions to prevent falling victim to fraud,” the NPF spokesman added.