About 4 Nigerians in Philippines have been arrested for their alleged involvement in an international syndicate that hacks and siphons funds from banks.

According to ABS-CBN News, the suspects were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Muntinlupa City on Tuesday, September 8.

It was gathered that transactions of the fraudsters was traced when they hacked one Philippine bank and transferred at least P100 million (N796,312,421) then they funneled into a different account.

Vic Lorenzo, the NBI Cybercrime Division chief said that the international syndicate is complicated, adding that they study the system’s flaws and strike when they see a weakness.

A girlfriend of one of the suspects admitted that the syndicate used her account to deposit and withdraw money which was supposedly for school tuition.

4 Nigerian students arrested in Philippines over alleged bank fraud
4 Nigerian students arrested over their alleged involvement in bank fraud in the Philippines. Photo credit: ABS-CBN News

The authorities recovered items from the suspects including blank ATM cards and bank receipts.

However, the Nigerian students while denying the allegations said they were in the Philippines to study and know nothing about the hacking incident.

One of the suspects went on to note that the funds withdrawn were donations from a Nigerian student community

The NBI on its part said the Nigerians violated the following Access Device Law, Anti-Cybercrime law, and falsification of public documents.

According to Global News, the arrest of the suspects’ Kelvin Awani, 24, Jonah Eigbuluese, 22, Joshua Ometie, 25 and Clinton Newton, 27, was issued by Saskatchewan RCMP.

The police explained that one man, Austin Newton, 28, was arrested while the remaining four are at large.

The four students along with Newton who were all living in Regina during the time are accused of defrauding victims of over $2 million through online romance scams over the past two years.

Similarly, about twenty-four individuals including thirteen Nigerians have been arrested by federal agents for their involvement in a $30 million fraud and money laundering operation in the United States.

The US department of justice in a statement said the suspects duped many victims who are US citizens through romance fraud scams, business email compromise schemes, and retirement account scams, among other frauds.