Benefit Boys: EFCC arrest man for defrauding US state of COVID-19 relief cheque

A Nigerian man has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for defrauding a US stated of COVID-19 relief cheque.

Benefit Boys became a popular Nigerian slang in reference to internet fraudsters involved in the COVID-19 relief scam.

The Nigerian man identified as Collins Samuel, was arrested and remanded at the EFCC custody for fraudulently obtaining $8,000 COVID-19 benefit from the U.S. State of Virginia.

The suspect who was arraigned before Justice P. Mallong of the Federal High Court in Kaduna, pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the one count charge that borders on impersonation and obtaining by false pretences.

Collins was reportedly arrested in Jos, Plateau State where he fraudulently represented himself as Ashley Cooper, an American citizen affected by COVID–19.

It was alleged that he obtained $8,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) from Virginia, United States and reportedly redeemed the $8,000 benefit through bitcoin wallet addresses he got from various cryptocurrency traders.

Justice Mallong adjourned the case till March 22, for determination of bail application and trial.

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