Two Nigerians have been arrested for allegedly attempting to divert $13,978 belonging to, Ghanaian peacekeepers after they had succeeded in hacking into the e-mails of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).
The suspects, Peter Okechukwu, 32, and Emmanuel Ifedi, 31, were arrested by officials of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service at a branch of the United Bank of Africa (UBA) in Accra where they had gone to cash the money.
According to the Director-General of the CID, Commissioner of Police Mr Prosper Agblor, in November this year the two suspects managed to enter the e-mails of Continental African Trading Limited (CATAL) and the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) GHANBATT 76 and intercepted all electronic communications between the two parties.
CATAL, an international organisation, had been supplying home appliances' to Ghanaian peacekeeping troops on various missions at different locations in the world.
Recently, CATAL was contacted, as usual, by the GAF to supply home appliances to UNIFIL GHANBATT 76 peacekeeping troops in Lebanon.
Mr Agblor said there was correspondence concerning the supply of the items between CATAL and the military through the Internet.
Along the line, he said, the e-mails between the GAF and CATAL were hacked into by the two Nigerians, who intercepted all mails from both ends and replied them as if the replies were coming from the rightful receivers of the e-mails.
He said the two suspects, using the identity of CATAL, sent an e-mail to the GAF instructing it to pay $13,978 into a UBA account number 01011651102235 as part payment for the supply of the goods.
Upon receipt of the information, the GAF transferred $13,978 into the account as instructed by the two suspects.
Mr Agblor said CATAL realized that the GAF had suddenly stopped communicating with the company on matters relating to the transfer of the money and so it followed up with a phone call and detected that the GAF had paid $13,978 into an account number supplied by CATAL.
He said it was at that stage that the two organisations realised that someone had hacked into their e-mails and quickly reported the issue to the Documentation and Visa Fraud Unit of the CID.
Mr Agblor said the Business Development Manager of CATAL reported the case to the police and checks at the bank revealed that the money had not yet been cashed by the suspects.
The police quickly mounted surveillance at the bank, awaiting the arrival of the suspects to cash the money.
According to the CID boss, on November 11, 2012, Okechukwu, who happened to be the owner of the said account, was arrested when he turned up at the bank to cash the amount.
Upon interrogation, the police said, Okechukwu admitted to the offence but mentioned Ifedi as the master brain behind the whole deal and led the police to Ifedi's house at Ashaley Botwe, an Accra suburb.
Mr Agblor said investigations were still ongoing, after which the two would be put before court.