Visa flagged Naira Marley’s credit card for fraud, EFCC tells court

An Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, witness, has told a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, how Visa, a card payment platform, flagged one of the credit card details found on a device belonging to Nigerian singer, Azeez Fashola, (a.k.a Naira Marley), due to fraudulent transactions.

The 10th prosecution witness, PW10, in the trial of Naira Marley, Dein Whyte, an investigator with EFCC, gave evidence at the resumed trial of the defendant.

Trial judge in the matter is Justice Nicholas Oweibo.

Naira Marley is standing trial on 11-count charges bordering on conspiracy and credit card fraud brought against him by the EFCC.

Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, the PW10 said: “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.

It also revealed were malicious tools used to disguise the active location of an internet user when his or her devices are connected to the internet.”

Whyte told the court, “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.”

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He explained that the phone and the laptop recovered from the defendant were both registered with his credentials, name and email address.

Asked by the prosecution counsel to state the result of his findings on the credit card details on the defendant’s device, Whyte said: “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.

Under cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, hyte informed the court that a letter of investigation was written to Visa and that it confirmed that the card had been flagged for fraudulent transactions.

He added 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 was a payment platform and not a telecommunication company.

Justice Oweibo adjourned the case to March 6 and 7, 2024, for continuation of trial.

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