April 20, 2023

Romance scam: Lady arrested for allegedly defrauding German citizen of $220,000

romance scam

By Evelyn Usman

LAGOS—A 21-year-old lady, Atuonah Chioma, has been arrested by operatives of the Police Special Fraud Unit, Ikoyi-Lagos, for allegedly defrauding a German citizen of $220,000.

The suspect, a 2019 graduate of Economics from the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, according to the Police, lured the 50-year-old German on Instagram by feigning romantic intentions towards him.

In the course of the interaction, the suspect who claimed to have introduced herself as a model and proprietress of a Massage Spa known as The-Chi-Place promised to marry the foreigner.

A spokesman for the unit, Eyitayo Johnson, who confirmed Chioma’s arrest, said: “She invited him to Nigeria for visits on several occasions and convinced him to relocate permanently to Nigeria to live together as husband and wife.

“In a ploy to dispel suspicion, the victim was made to meet with Atuonah Chioma’s parents at Ikot-Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, where he received their blessings to marry their daughter.

“The victim was persuaded by the suspect (Miss Atuonah Cynthia) to return to Germany to sell his house in Stuttgart and forward the proceeds of the sale, with his pension and life savings to her domiciliary account in one of the new generation banks, for the purpose of purchasing a house in Nigeria where they will both live as husband and wife as well as to establish a joint business outfit as indicated in the bank transfer narration.

“During the interview session, the suspect admitted in her statement that $220,000,was transferred to her account by the victim. Part of the proceeds was used to buy a two-bedroom Terrace apartment at Zara Estate, Ikota Villa, Lekki Phase II, while some of the funds were sent to support her mother’s business and to pay the medical bills of her father.

“Efforts are ongoing to recover other proceeds of the crime while the Unit remains committed to diligently investigate and prosecute fraudsters who are out there damaging the image of the country. The suspect will be charged to court as soon as the investigation is concluded.”