The first prosecution witness in the alleged fraud case involving popular music act Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley on Wednesday told the court that various stolen credit card information were retrieved from the musician’s laptop.
Giving witness before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Lagos, Nuru Buhari said apart from the stolen credit card information, website visit history recovered from the device showed that the top five most visited sites dealt with buying and selling stolen credit card information.
“During analysis, the cache file and history file revealed that the most frequently visited sites by the user of the computer include arder007.org, Zuni.sa, nationwidecheckbalance.co.uk, ferunshop.net and cocoa.co.uk,” he said.
“Analysis of the websites revealed that web 1 is where stolen card information is being sold to intending fraudsters, web 2 is for stolen credit cards specifically for the UK, web 3 is an online website designed for UK cardholders to check their balance wherever they are around the world, web 4 is a dark web meaning an underground tunnel in the internet where stolen credit card information are sold and traded, web 5 is an online shopping mall where members are given discounts for shopping from certain shops.”
He also informed the court while being led by EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, that stolen credit card information with a special status that allows transaction up-to $12,000 without a pin or physical card was found in a file named select BIN 101.txt and .txt.
“For the note file, two major files were discovered named .txt which contained about four credit card information belonging to four different personalities in the UK, including one Nicole Louise.
“The second file is named selected BIN101.txt containing Bank Identification Number of European, American and Latin American banks.
“When we ran the BIN code search for the first six digits of the cards, it revealed they are Visa cards issued by Barclays bank, Santander UK plc.”
“We identified that certain banks in the US, Europe and Asia with certain peculiarities. These are banks that they issue credit cards without pins based on the high level of trust, they allow a transaction of up to $12,000 in a swipe on pos. ”
“Cards issued by those banks are card not required. All you need to execute a transaction is the card number and the CVV number.”
Mr Buhari also informed the court that suspicious apps that are mostly used by people with shady deals on the internet were found on the laptop.
“We analysed installed apps on the laptop and we found two apps that enables the owner of the computer to decide the server of a bank as to his identity and location, IP VANISH and TOR browser.
“The TOR browser is sometimes called the onion. Most of the criminals cover their tracks with various layers, just like an onion, using this app to make it near impossible for a tracker to track their location.”
“The IP VANISH is a virtual private network (VPN) which provides that the actual computer and location of usage cannot be identified. It also gives the user the ability to change their location. ”
He also said an analysis of the administrator account on the laptop revealed that the admin is one Naira Marley and the account was connected to his iCloud account.
Mr Buhari while introducing himself to the court said he had been with EFCC since 2006 and had been in the forensics department since 2009 and is now the head of the forensic department at the Lagos zonal office of the EFCC.
He also informed that he had, on various occasions, been trained and mentored by the South Korean police department and the FBI respectively.
During the course of the examination, Mr Oyedepo tendered the request for the analysis of Apple MacBook pro and an iPhone labelled by the court as exhibit A and B, a MacBook pro and an iPhone allegedly confiscated from the defendant, which was labelled exhibit C and D, and the forensic laboratory report prepared by Mr Buhari labelled exhibit E.
In requesting an adjournment for the purpose of cross-examining the witness, Olalekan Ojo, counsel to the defendant informed the court that most of the statements made by the witness are not in the documents provided by the prosecution. He said the defence is just hearing them for the first time and would need to closely review the statements before cross-examining the witness.
Mr Oweibo adjourned till Thursday for cross-examination.
Mr Fashola, popular for his “Am I a Yahoo Boy” and “Soapy” tracks, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on an 11-count charge of conspiracy, possession of counterfeit cards and fraud.
His co-defendant is one Yad Isril, said to still be at large.
He was arraigned on May 20, 2019 and pleaded not guilty to all 11 counts.
He was also granted bail of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.
According to the charge, the defendant committed the offences on different dates, November 26, 2018, December 11, 2018, and May 10.
Mr Fashola and his accomplices allegedly conspired to use different Access Bank ATM Cards to defraud their victims.
They allegedly used Access Card number 5264711020433662 issued to other persons, in a bid to obtain fraudulent financial gains.
Mr Fashola was said to have possessed these counterfeit credit cards, belonging to different cardholders, with intent to defraud, and which also constituted theft.