Indonesian Immigration Nabs Nigerians in Online Scam Syndicate

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Markus Wisnu Murti

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  • Silhouettes of mobile phone users can be seen next to the projection screen of the Facebook logo in the image illustration taken March 28, 2018. [REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration]

    Silhouettes of mobile phone users can be seen next to the projection screen of the Facebook logo in the image illustration taken March 28, 2018. [REUTERS / Dado Ruvic / Illustration]

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Soekarno-Hatta Airport Immigration Office announced the arrest of seven Nigerian and Ghana nationals allegedly involved in an online scam syndicate based in Indonesia. The seven were arrested in seperate locations and apartments in West Jakarta’s Cengkareng area. 

    “They made apartments as their headquarters,” said the Soekarno-Hatta head of immigration, Romi Yudianto, on Thursday, March 25. 

    This criminal gang commits fraud against people overseas using fake identities, which Romi said was known as the "mogu-mogu scam."

    The airport immigration's head of intelligence and immigration, Andika Pandu Kurniawan, said that this criminal syndicate would utilize a plethora of social media platforms such as Facebook and Facebook Messenger to contact their victims. 

    The modus operandi they used would often involve using profile photos on their social accounts that disguised them as United States military veterans and military retirees and would exploit their victims’ compassion to beg for them to send various items. 

    To their victims, these criminals would pretend to have their items stuck in immigration offices—either in Indonesia or other countries—and ask people to help them reclaim the items by paying for their fines. These criminals acted as if they were military pensioners who were unable to afford paying the fines. Other practices involved persuading their victims to wire money to their accounts.

    The Soekarno-Hatta Airport Immigration Office said the victims range from people in Brazil, United States, and Mexico. This syndicate now faces charges against immigration regulations.

    Read: Indonesian Immigration Deports Russian Interpol Fugitive

    JONIANSYAH (CONTRIBUTOR)