A witness in the trial of Nigerian singer, Azeez Fashola, commonly known as Naira Marley, has disclosed to Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, how Visa, a card payment platform, detected fraudulent transactions linked to one of the credit card details found on the singer’s device.
An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Dein Whyte, revealed this information during the court proceedings.
The agency subsequently shared this revelation via their official account on Friday.
The witness, Whyte, led by the prosecution counsel, Bilikisu Buhari, said, “As part of the findings from the investigation, forensic analysis revealed that malicious programmes used to illegally obtain credit card information were found on the device recovered from the defendant upon his arrest.” These programmes facilitated card non-present transactions.
The investigator also recognized tools present on the device, which obscured the user’s current location whenever connected to the internet.
Whyte elaborated, saying, “Tools 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 websites accessed on the defendant’s computer, including sites where credit card information is illegally traded.”
The witness revealed that both the phone and laptop retrieved from Naira Marley were registered under his credentials, including his name and email address.
Investigations exposed that the singer had shared credit card details with other individuals, leading to the fraudulent usage of one card reported by Visa.
Whyte clarified that the card information found on the defendant’s device did not belong to him and was not issued by any financial institution.
During cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, Whyte confirmed that Visa’s investigation had flagged the card for fraudulent transactions.
However, Visa did not directly connect the credit card fraud to the defendant’s device, emphasizing that Visa operates as a payment platform and not a telecommunication company.
Justice Oweibo adjourned the case to March 6 and 7, 2024, for the continuation of the trial.
Naira Marley faces an 11-count charge, including conspiracy and credit card fraud, brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.