A Nigerian national, Kelechi Cosmos Emeh has been busted in Australia for allegedly engaging in online romance scam while posing as an American soldier.
Emeh, 32, had allegedly defrauded one of his victims, a woman, of $370,000 (about N133 million). He had allegedly received the sum over a period of three months after he became involved with the 34-year-old victim last October.
The suspect made an appearance at the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Friday. The court heard that he was allegedly trying to make the victim send an additional $170,000 before he was arrested.
He had allegedly claimed to be a United States soldier serving in Syria.
Eneh is reportedly in Australia on a student visa and had spent two years in the country, living in a home in Durack with his partner, a permanent citizen.
The victim, a woman from Brisbane, had contacted police and sparked the investigation into Eneh’s alleged activities.
Police authorities had said before his arrest that Eneh, acting as an agent for the soldier he was allegedly impersonating, travelled to the victim’s home to collect another $105,000.
The authorities said it was the first time they would hear of a scammer meeting his victim in person.
“Usually the offender’s interaction with the victim is all online so this further step of travelling to the victim’s home is certainly something we need the public to hear and be warned of today,” detective Terry Lawrence said.
Another police officer, Detective Inspector Vince Byrnes, said: “In this case, the disturbing development is a person attending the address … the nature of this scam makes it different.”