Online ‘gay predator’ docked for $8,420 scam

Prosecutors failed to attend Tuesday’s hearing at the federal high court in Lagos, having previously failed to present some of their witnesses in a case that had been adjourned on several occasions.

The Kaduna Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has arraigned one Abdulrahim Dangana before Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court, Kaduna on one count charge that borders on obtaining by false pretence.

The defendant, who was in court on October 25, 2021, is an alleged internet fraudster who preys on homosexuals online.

Abdulrahim, investigation revealed, registered on a Gay/Bisexual hook-up App called Grindr and A4A website, using the assumed names: RYAN, DAVE, FRANK and ERIC.

He employed the fake profiles to contrive romantic relationships with gay individuals and after establishing what appears to be genuine relationships with his victims, he lures them into sending him nude pictures, which he will eventually use to blackmail and extort them through gift cards and bitcoins.

Then converts such into Naira using his bank accounts and e-wallets.

The one-count charge reads: “That you Abdulrahim Dangana “m” between January and September 2021 in Kaduna within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court with intent to defraud obtained the total sum of $8,420.00 only from innocent victims when you falsely presented yourself as a white homosexual man on Grindr App (an online application) and in the assumed character blackmailed them that you will expose them to their families and loved ones which pretence you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 1(1)(a) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.”

The suspect pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

Upon his plea, the prosecution counsel, Nasiru Salele, asked the court to fix a date for trial, but the defence counsel, Solomon Otuwaga, urged the court to release his client on bail.

Justice Khobo thereafter granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N1 million and one surety in like sum who must be resident in Kaduna with valid means of identification.

The case has been adjourned till December 2, 2021.

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