Azeez Fashola, a popular Nigerian singer also known as Naira Marley, has been further indicted for credit card fraud through forensic evidence by the cybercrime department of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
According to The PUNCH, the EFCC investigative team led by Whyte Dein submitted forensic reports that established that Naira Marley was involved in credit card fraud before the Ikoyi Federal High Court on Thursday.
Naira Marley is charged for activities contradicting the Money Laundering Act and the Cyber Crime Act. He was said to have committed these crimes in 2018. On May 20, 2018, he was arraigned before a court, but released after he was granted bail.
On Thursday, his trial resumed, and Dein, led by the EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that conversations where Naira Marley requested for a credit card details were found on his iPhone.
“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 that the card was not valid,” Dein was quoted to have said.
“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 EFCC cyber crime team also revealed that Naira Marley used a multi-lingual browser to access illegal networks. He allegedly did this by using malicious internet tools and the Top Browser, which hid his location and identity whenever he connected to the internet.
“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. And this was established through a reply to our request to Visa Western Union Card,” said Dein.
“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.”
Earlier forensic reports had revealed that stolen card details issued by European, American and Latin American banks were found on Naira Marley’s laptop.
In 2019, the defense counsel, Olalekan Ojo, (SAN) objected to the submissions of the investigative team indicting the defendant for fraud.
Meanwhile, the case has been adjourned until July 13 and 15 for ruling on the points and continuation of trials respectively.
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