Dein Whyte, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and witness in the ongoing trial of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola (a.k.a Naira Marley), has revealed that the musician’s credit card was flagged for fraud.
Whyte, who is the 10th prosecution witness, PW10, in the Naira Marley trial for internet fraud, revealed this to Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos.
He told Justice Oweibo how a card payment platform, Visa, flagged one of the credit card details found on a device belonging to the singer due to fraudulent transactions.
EFCC disclosed this in a statement on X with Naira Marley standing trial on 11-count charges bordering on conspiracy and credit card fraud brought against him by the Commission.
Whyte stated, “As part of the findings from the investigation, forensic analysis revealed that malicious programmes that are being used to illegally obtain credit card information, which can be used for card non-present transactions, were found on the device that was recovered from the defendant upon his arrest.”
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, the PW10 also revealed that there were malicious tools used to disguise the active location of an internet user when his or her devices are connected to the internet.
Whyte further stated, “Tools that are used to verify the validity, active state and accuracy of credit card credentials as well as the region of the issuer of that card were discovered on the defendant’s device.
“The analysis further revealed the website that had been accessed on the computer of the defendant through his browser history. The websites include sites where credit card information are illegally traded.”
Whyte explained further that the phone and the laptop recovered from the defendant were both registered with his credentials, name, and email address.
He was then asked by the prosecution counsel to state the result of his findings on the credit card details on the defendant’s device.
Whyte stated, “With respect to the card details recovered from the device of the defendant, investigations revealed that he also exchanged those details with other persons.”
He further stated that one of the cards was reported to have been fraudulently used for a transaction by Visa.
According to him, the card details that were in possession of the defendant’s device neither belonged to him nor were issued to him by any financial institution.
During a cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN), Whyte informed the court that a letter of investigation was written to Visa.
He added that the payment platform thereafter confirmed that the card had been flagged for fraudulent transactions.
Whyte, however, said that Visa didn’t link the credit card fraud to the defendant’s device “because the investigation was on the card and not on the device being used for the fraud.”
He also stressed that Visa is a payment platform and not a telecommunications company. Justice Oweibo adjourned the case to March 6 and 7, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.