The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced the arrest of 33 people in Texas due to their alleged involvement in the well-known Black Axe cybercriminal operation, which involves business email engagement (BEC), insurance fraud, unemployment insurance fraud and other variants of cybercrime.
The agents in charge of the investigation mention that Black Axe had been active for at least 4 years, participating in all kinds of fraudulent online activities. Something curious about this group is that he also participated in the so-called romance scams, creating user accounts on websites such as ChristianMingle, Match.com, JSwipe and Plenty of Fish.
Black Axe has its origins in the 1970s, when it was founded as a university fraternity in Nigeria. Little by little the members of this fraternity were involved in illegal activities, extending their operations to other countries in Africa and reaching America at the end of the twentieth century.
Authorities estimate that this group made profits of around $17 million USD, defrauding nearly 90,000 victims in various locations, mainly in Texas. Below is a list of the full names and age of the defendants, in addition to the charges they face:
- David Animashaun, 38 years old. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Oluwalobamise Michael Moses, 40. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Irabor Fatarr Musa, 51. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy
- Ijeoma Okoro, 31. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy
- Chukwemeka Orji, 36. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Emanuel Stanley Orji, 35. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Frederick Orji, 37. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- Uwadiale Esezobor, 36. Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud
- Victor Idowu, 36. Conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud
- Afeez Abiola Alao, 37. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy
- Ambrose Sunday Ohide, 47. Conspiracy to commit wire fraud
A second group of suspects have already been arrested, although authorities are still working on filing charges for the following people:
- Kingsley Ita, also known as “Baron” “Sifk”, 42 años
- Irabor Fatarr Musa, also known as “Fatai” “Head JJ”, 51
- Solomon Esekheigbe, 48
- Sandra Iribhogbe Popnen, also known as “General”, 46
- Edgal Iribhogbe, also known as “Oseme”, 50
- Damilola Kumapayi, also known as “Luke Morris”, 33
- Ehiedu Onyeagwu, also known as “Young”, 58
- Mathew Okpu, 57
- Benedicta Atakare, 46
- Segun Adeoye, 47
- Chidindu Okeke, also known as “Steve”, 28
- Ngozi Okeke, 47
- Nosoregbe Asemota, also known as “Patrick Asemota”, 46
- Chigozi Ekwenugo, 53
- Bukola Obaseki, 48
- Stella Hadome, 43
- Jequita Batchelor, 37
- Osaretin Eghaghe, 37
- Ejiro Ohwovoriole, 29
- Isaac Asare, also known as “Asarko”, 48
- Gold Ude, 44,
- Henrietha Oziegbe, 23
- Kingsly Oziegbe, 25
Although this is a blow to this cybercriminal operation, the FBI believes that Black Axe long ago began engaging in other illegal activities, including prostitution, human and drug trafficking and major robbery.
To learn more about information security risks, malware variants, vulnerabilities and information technologies, feel free to access the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS) websites.
He is a well-known expert in mobile security and malware analysis. He studied Computer Science at NYU and started working as a cyber security analyst in 2003. He is actively working as an anti-malware expert. He also worked for security companies like Kaspersky Lab. His everyday job includes researching about new malware and cyber security incidents. Also he has deep level of knowledge in mobile security and mobile vulnerabilities.