The Interpol says it has arrested two Nigerians in South Africa for cybercrime activities.

Although the identities of the suspects were not released, South Africa’s TimeLive reported that they were aged 39 and 42.

They were arrested on Wednesday during early morning raids carried out in collaboration with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) – known as Hawks – in the Pretoria East suburb of Equestria.

The suspects are allegedly linked to Nigerian organised crime syndicates running sophisticated cybercrime networks.

“The search and seizure operation by the joint team recovered electronic equipment, including laptops and phones, thousands of rand in cash, as well as an unlicensed firearm, in Wapadrand and Sunnyside,” Hawks spokesperson Katlego Mogale said. 

“The two foreign nationals are alleged to be part of a cult known as the ‘Air Lords’ who are said to be rivals of the ‘Black Axe’ movement. The suspects will be charged, detained and extradited by Interpol.

“The suspects will be linked to online scams being investigated by the 419 provincial task team. This arrest is but one of several simultaneous happening in other countries tracing the suspects involved in online scams such as romance, investments, Bitcoin, employment and related advance fee fraud.”

The suspects will be charged with conspiracy to wire fraud, access device fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.

The Nigerians were reportedly apprehended as part of a multidisciplinary operation involving years of investigation and co-operation between local and international law enforcement agencies.

The arrests are the latest in crackdown on Nigerian organised crime groups which began with raids in Cape Town in November 2021 with the arrest of the leadership of the Black Axe or Neo Black Movement of Africa, Cape Town chapter.

The suspects and other alleged Black Axe members and Nigerian organised crime members face extradition to the United States to answer for huge business e-mail compromise and romance scams worth hundreds of millions of dollars.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here