Abuja, Nigeria – The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) has arrested one Mr Mohammed Hassan Barau, a notorious fraudster accused of swindling a staggering sum of N492.7 million from an unsuspecting victim.
Barau’s arrest comes after an extensive operation in collaboration with INTERPOL, which culminated in the extradition of Mr Barau from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Nigeria.
Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Muyiwa Adejobi, disclosed these developments in a press statement released on Friday, September 29, titled, “Successful Extradition of Suspect in a Case of Criminal Conspiracy, Fraud, and Obtaining by False Pretense.”
The suspect stands accused of perpetrating a complex web of fraudulent activities, using deceitful tactics to obtain vast sums of money from a victim.
“The extant case involves a complaint filed by one Mr. Akinola Bayo Michael, who, in October 2021, sought to obtain foreign exchange (forex) for the purpose of purchasing a machine from the Netherlands.
“Mr. Michael sent a substantial sum of Four Hundred and Ninety-Two Million, Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N492,750,000) only to the bank account of Mr Mohammed Sulaiman.
‘However, instead of facilitating the forex transaction as agreed, Mr Sulaiman transferred the funds to another individual, Mr Mohammed Hassan Barau.
“Mr Hassan Barau, who resides in the United Arab Emirates, subsequently sent 513,000 Euros to Mr Michael from Belgium, supposedly for the forex transaction.
“However, this transaction was flagged as fraudulent, leading Mr Michael to return the funds to the sender. Realizing that he had been a victim of fraud, Mr. Michael made multiple attempts to recover his money but was unsuccessful.
“The case took a significant turn when it was assigned to INTERPOL which launched an investigation into the matter.
“Recognizing the severity of the fraud and its international dimension, INTERPOL placed the prime suspect, Mr. Mohammed Hassan Barau, on a red alert list, thereby facilitating international cooperation in tracking and apprehending the suspect.
“We are pleased to inform you that Mr. Mohammed Hassan Barau was arrested by INTERPOL Abu Dhabi and subsequently extradited to Nigeria on 27th September 2023.
“His extradition marks a crucial milestone in the pursuit of justice for Mr Akinola Bayo Michael.
“The successful extradition of Mr. Mohammed Hassan Barau demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies, both within and outside Nigeria, to ensuring that perpetrators of criminal activities, particularly those with international ramifications, are held accountable for their actions.
“This case underscores the importance of vigilance and due diligence in financial transactions, especially in the era of increasingly sophisticated fraud schemes.
“We urge individuals and businesses to exercise caution and verify the legitimacy of financial transactions to prevent falling victim to fraud.