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An alleged Nigerian cybercrime kingpin, James Aliyu, has been detained by INTERPOL in conjunction with the US Secret Service, South African Police, and other agencies in connection with a $12 million romance scam and a commercial email breach fraud.

On June 29, Aliyu was detained in an opulent Sandton mansion in South Africa and charged in the Randburg magistrate’s court.

According to TimesLive, the Nigerian national’s extravagant vacations and extravagant spending on luxury products for him and his fiancée have made him well known in SA social circles and on Instagram.

On his Instagram account, Oldsoldier, he has amassed 17,000 followers as a result of his social media posts that boast about his wealth.

Interpol investigators detained him at his home in a posh Sandton suburb, terminating five years of alleged scamming activity and putting an end to his spending.

Law enforcement officials state that the suspected scammer was apprehended after a nearly six-year investigation into his actions involving Interpol, the US Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the US Secret Service.

According to sources, Aliyu is regarded as a big participant and has contracts with a number of prominent convicted and suspected fraudsters from around the world.

He is accused of purchasing a fleet of high-end automobiles, including a Mercedes C220d, a Mercedes-Benz G Class luxury SUV, and a Porsche Cayenne.

His social media accounts also feature images of him on lavish island resorts and on vacations in Dubai and the US.

Aliyu is allegedly a member of a global organization, some of whose members have previously received prison sentences in the US.

In August of last year, the Sunday World claimed that Aliyu had accused Terrence Kudzai Mushonga, the boyfriend of South African actress Khanyi Mbau, of defrauding him in a complex luxury automobile scheme involving an R1.2 million vehicle.

The story claims that Aliyu thought thieves who he claimed had worked for Mushonga had stolen and hijacked an R720,000 Mercedes and an R500,000 Jaguar that he purchased from the businessman.

Mushonga, a Zimbabwean, allegedly approached him and identified himself as Dick Lefa Nzula from South Africa.

In order to change the ownership and register the automobiles in his name, Aliyu said that Mushonga supplied him copies of his South African driver’s license, smart card ID, and vehicle paperwork.

The documentation Aliyu was given for the automobiles was fraudulent, which he also revealed to Sunday World. Mushonga, however, asserted that he would not pay Aliyu back since the cash he had gotten from Aliyu was “the proceeds of crime.”

According to a remark from him in The Sunday World, he was “wanted by the FBI for defrauding Americans out of millions of rand.”

In accordance with Exchange Control Regulation 22E, the SA Reserve Bank seized R231,000 from Aliyu’s Standard Bank account in March 2020.

Next Tuesday, July 5, Aliyu is scheduled to appear in the Randburg magistrate’s court, where the process for his extradition to the US for trial is anticipated to begin.

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