US investigators say they have busted a “Ghana-based criminal enterprise”, with the arrest of six of its “ringleaders” in the US on charges of laundering more than $50m (£36m).
“The scams we allege in this investigation include romance scams targeting the elderly, business e-mail compromise scams, and even fraudulent Covid-19 relief loans,” the FBI’s William F. Sweeney said in a statement.
A statement released by the United States Department for Justice on Wednesday, February 17, named the suspects as Farouk Appiedu, 35, Fred Asante, 35, Celvin Freeman, 47, Lord Aning, 28, Sadick Edusei Kissi, 24, and Faisal Ali, aka “Clarence Graveley, 34.
Four of the accused had between them controlled more than 45 bank accounts in which more than $50m had been deposited between 2013 and 2020, the statement alleged.
A vast majority of the deposits consisted of large wire transfers and cheque or cash deposits from various US-based individuals and entities, the statement added.
As part of the investigation, four luxury vehicles suspected to have been purchased with the proceeds of fraud had been seized, the statement said.
The vehicles were:
- Two 2019 Rolls Royce Cullinans
- One 2020 Bentley Continental GT
- One 2020 Mercedes-Benz G63 AMG.