Nigerian Police announces an arrest in connection to Patricia’s security breach

Bonse was alleged to have conspired to launder 50 million naira from funds stolen from Patricia.

Nigerian Police announces an arrest in connection to Patricia’s security breach
Image source: The official handle of The Nigeria Police on X (twitter)

The Nigerian Police Force (NPF) today announced that its cybercrime center arrested Wilfred Bonse in connection to the breach of the cryptocurrency exchange, Patricia Technologies.

The police are still conducting investigations to arrest more suspects.

The details 

  • In a press briefing, the NPF’s public relations officer (PRO), ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said that Bonse was arrested on charges of conspiracy to launder N50 million naira from the 607 million naira diverted from Patricia’s company accounts.
  • Adejobi added that Bonse’s arrest came as a result of the police’s trail of unnamed individuals that Patricia had mentioned in its petition reporting the breach.
  • Per the police, Patricia had petitioned Nigeria’s inspector general of police to report an incidence of fraud involving the “modification of computer systems,” which resulted in the diversion of 200 million naira from the company’s Flutterwave account.
  • Bonse, according to Adejobi, received 50 million naira from the stolen funds into his bank account through a crypto wallet.
  •  The NPF is still on the trail of other suspects and its investigations are still ongoing, the police PRO concluded.
  • Mariblock reached out to Patricia for comments, but the company did not immediately respond.

Key quote

  • Highlighting Bonse’s involvement, Adejobi said:
“Wilfred Bonse conspired in laundering the sum of Fifty Million Naira (N50,000,000) originating from the fraudulent diversion of Six Hundred and Seven Million Naira (N607,000,000) from Patricia Technology company's account to his bank account through a cryptocurrency wallet.”

What we know

What we don’t know

  •   Patricia did not disclose the exact amount of the bitcoin, naira and USD assets lost to the breach. Instead, it gave a lump sum of $2 million as the total sum of the stolen funds.
  •  Bitcoin, naira and USD assets cannot be held together in one single wallet, suggesting that the hack occurred across different wallets/accounts. It’s unclear how the breach occurred across different wallets/accounts in such coordinated manner that the Patricia team didn’t notice.
  • In addition, the Nigerian police quoted two different figures as the amount of money moved from Patricia’s accounts. It is unclear exactly how much naira or USD Patricia was stolen from the company’s Flutterwave account.
  • Last February, People’s Gazette accused a Wilfred Bonse, a candidate for the governorship position of Cross Rivers state, Nigeria, of being investigated by the police for receiving funds from the fraudulent hack of an unnamed financial account.
  • Bonse rebuffed the allegations and threatened legal action against People’s Gazette for defamation.
  • It is unclear if this Wilfred Bonse is the same one arrested by the NPF in relation to the theft of funds from Patricia’s account.