Two Nigerians have been arrested for allegedly attempting to divert $13,978 belonging to Ghanaian peacekeepers after they had succeeded in hacking into the e-mails of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
The suspects, Peter Okechukwu, 32, and Emmanuel Ifedi, 31, were arrested by officials of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service at a branch of the United Bank of Africa (UBA), in Accra, where they had gone to cash the money.
According to the Director General of the CID, Commissioner of Police, Mr Prosper Agblor, in November, this year, the two suspects managed to enter the e-mails of Continental African Trading Limited (CATAL) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) GHANBATT 76 and intercepted all electronic communications between the two parties.
CATAL, an international organisation, had been supplying home appliances to Ghanaian peacekeeping troops on various missions at different locations in the world.
Recently CATAL was contacted as usual by the GAF to supply home appliances for UNIFIL GHANBATT 76 peacekeeping troops in Lebanon.
Mr Agblor said there was correspondence between CATAL and the military through the Internet concerning the supply of the items.
Somewhere along the line, he said, the e-mails between GAF and CATAL were hacked into by the two Nigerians who intercepted all mails from both ends and replied them as if they were coming from the rightful receivers of the email.
Mr Agblor said the two suspects using the identity of CATAL sent an email to the military instructing them to pay cash in the sum of $13,978 into a United Bank for Africa account number 01011651102235 as part payment for the supply of the goods.
Upon receipt of the information, the GAF transfered $13,978 into the account as instructed by the two suspects.
Mr Agblor said CATAL realised that the military had suddenly stopped communicating with them on matters relating to the transfer of the money so they followed up with a phone call and detected that the military had paid an amount of $13,978 into an account number supplied by them.
He said it was at that stage that they both realised that someone had hacked into their emails and quickly reported the issue to the Documentation and Visa Fraud Unit of the CID.
Mr Agblor said that the Business Development Manager of CATAL reported the case to the police and checks at the bank revealed that the money had not yet been cashed by the suspects.
The police therefore mounted surveillance at the bank awaiting the arrival of the suspects.
According to Mr Agblor, on November 11, 2012, Peter Okechukwu who happened to be the owner of the said account was arrested when he turned up at the bank to cash the amount.
Upon interrogation, the police said, Okechukwu admitted to the offence but mentioned Emmanuel Ifedi as the master brain behind the whole deal and led the police to his house at Ashaley Botwe, an Accra suburb.
He said investigations were still on-going after which the two would be put before court.
Source: Daily Graphic