EFCC Arrests Nigerian For N3 Million COVID-19 Relief Fraud

Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission have arrested a man, Collins Samuel, who fraudulently obtained $8,000 (N3 million) COVID-19 benefit from the State of Virginia, United States.

The suspect, who has been remanded in EFCC custody, was reportedly arrested in Jos, Plateau State where he fraudulently represented himself as Ashley Cooper, an American citizen affected by COVID–19 in Nigeria.

It was alleged that he obtained $8,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) from Virginia, United States and reportedly redeemed the $8,000 benefit through bitcoin wallet addresses he got from various cryptocurrency traders.

Samuel, who was arraigned before Justice Mallong of the Federal High Court in Kaduna, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the one count bordering on impersonation and obtaining by false pretences.

Justice Mallong adjourned the case till March 22, for determination of bail application and trial.

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