EFCC Forensic investigation Links Naira Marley to Internet Fraud

On Thursday, a cybercrimes expert, Whyte Dein told the Federal High Court in Lagos that a forensic investigation by his team links hip-hop singer, Naira Marley with Visa card fraud.

Mr. Dein, who is the Chief Detective Officer and Head of the Cybercrime Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was testifying before Justice Nicholas Oweibo in Naira Marley’s trial when he said this.

According to the EFCC, Naira Marley committed the offences on three different occasions, all between November 26, 2018, and December 11, 2018, as well as May 10, 2019.

Azeez Fashola a.k.a. Naira Marley who is known for his hit song, Am I a Yahoo Boy? was later granted bail, after he pleaded not guilty.

On the credit cards found on him, the fake names of Nicole Louise Malyon and Timea Fedorne Tatar, were seen. It is believed he uses these cards in committing internet fraud.

Dein also referenced Naira Marley’s laptop in his testimony, adding that the singer browsed on it via a multi-lingual web browser called Top Browser.He said: “The defendant used malicious tools to disguise the identity and location of the user of the laptop when connected to the internet along with the presence of the Top Browser which acted as a single gateway to the dark net. This gave us a reasonable ground to suspect that the defendant had been engaging in fraudulent card activities or obtaining illegally. And this was established during a reply to our request to Visa Western Union Card.”

According to The Nations Online, Dein told the court upon resumption of proceedings that his team’s investigation revealed various messages sent from the defendant’s iPhone to one Raze, who had asked for a credit card number and validity date.

“One of our findings from the forensic report shows the exchange of chat messages with several persons when the defendant sent credit card details, including card numbers and expiration dates. Visa card details were one of those sent by the defendant to a certain person known on his contact list as Raze. This message sent Visa Card details to Raze, after which Raze replied to him that the card was not valid.

“We were able to establish through investigation the previous messages he sent with a wrong card that was indeed not valid. We then repeated the same process a second time which was now valid.”

“The types of sites most commonly associated with the dark web are marketplaces where illicit goods such as narcotics, firearms, and stolen credit card numbers are bought and sold. The darkest corners are used to hire hitmen, engage in human trafficking, and exchange child pornography,” said Dein.

However, Naira Marley’s counsel, Mr Olalekan Ojo, SAN, objected to the witness’s opinion. He contended, relying on statutory and case law, that only a court could conclude a case, based on the evidence.

Justice Oweibo who presided over the case adjourned till July 13 and 15 for ruling on the point and continuation of the trial.

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