Alleged cybercrime kingpin, James Aliyu was arrested on Wednesday in a luxury Sandton estate by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).
The Nigerian national was arrested in connection with R196 million in suspected romance scamming and business email fraud. He briefly appeared at the Randburg Magistrate Court shortly after his arrest.
According to Timeslive, Aliyu is well known on Instagram for his extravagant lifestyle and his excessive spending, which included spoiling his girlfriend with lavish holidays.
He doesn’t shy away from flashing his luxury vehicles, a Porsche Cayenne, a Mercedes C220d and a Mercedes-Benz G Class SUV, and is suspected to have bought the fleet of cars using the money acquired fraudulently.
All the flaunting came to an end when he was arrested following what is reported to be five years of successful scamming operations.
Law enforcement sources told the publication that his arrest is a result of a six year investigation into his cyber crimes by various agencies, which included Interpol, the US department of homeland security investigations, and the US Secret Service.
Aliyu is suspected to be the kingpin of an international syndicate of fraudsters.
He first hit the spotlight in August last year when he accused Khanyi Mbau’s boyfriend Terrence Kudzai Mushonga of what he called a vehicle scam.
Mbau and his businessman boyfriend are known for their controversial relationship and luxury trips to Dubai.
He accused Kudzai of defrauding him of R1.2 million, after he bought two cars from him and one was hijacked and another stolen on separate occasions.
He told Sunday World that he believed the criminals were hired by Kudzai, and he opened a case of fraud and hijacking at different police stations.
A police statement cited that Aliyu alleged that Kudzai introduced himself as Dick Lefa Nzula from South Africa and sold him a Mercedes for R720 000 and a Jaguar for R500 000.
Kudzai told the publication that he will not pay back Aliyu, because he paid for the cars using forged money.
“That man is wanted by the FBI for scamming Americans millions of Rand,” he said at the time.
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