Financial sextortion investigation in Surrey results in charges against man in Nigeria


2024-02-06 11:32 PST

File # 2023-24655

A man has been charged with several offences in Nigeria following a 2023 financial sextortion investigation in Surrey.

On February 13, 2023, Surrey RCMP frontline officers responded to a report of a sudden death of a male youth at residence. The preliminary investigation determined the youth had been a victim of financial sextortion and an investigation was immediately launched.

In the days that followed, the Surrey RCMP Serious Crime Unit took conduct of this investigation named Project Epa. Investigators collected credible evidence indicating the youth had been tricked into sending explicit photos to a suspect online who posed as a teenage girl. The suspect then blackmailed the youth with threats to share the photos with his family and friends unless he complied with demands of purchasing gift cards and sending them to the suspect.

In May 2023, Surrey RCMP investigators identified two suspects involved and determined they were operating in Nigeria. Surrey RCMP joined forces with domestic and international law enforcement partners to investigate Project Epa and provide assistance on a larger-scale, international police operation, targeting financial sextortion suspects in Nigeria.

On July 28, 2023, Surrey RCMP investigators travelled to Lagos, Nigeria where they worked collaboratively with the FBI, the Australian Federal Police (AFP), and the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC- Nigerian Federal Law Enforcement Agency).

The EFCC launched a parallel investigation into the suspects identified during Project Epa and in August, 2023, the EFCC with assistance from the Surrey RCMP, arrested two men.

One of the men was released without charges and the other was charged with multiple offences under the Nigerian Criminal Code.

Adedayo Olukeye, 26, is being held in custody awaiting trial in Nigeria on charges including possession and distribution of child pornography, attempts at extortion by threats, money laundering, and retention of proceeds of an unlawful act.

As this investigation indicates, the Surrey RCMP is committed to working with
domestic and international law enforcement partners to identify, arrest and charge online predators,
said Sergeant Derek Bonner of the Surrey RCMP Serious Crime Unit. Thank you to the multiple partners and agencies who assisted with this investigation including the RCMP’s National Child Exploitation Crime Centre (NCECC), the RCMP Liaison Officer deployed to Nigeria, the FBI Child Exploitation Operational Unit (CEOU), EFCC, and AFP, said Sgt. Bonner.

Financial sextortion is a global crisis, heavily impacting youth in Canada and around the world.

Our message to youth - you are not alone and there is life after images, said Sergeant Dave Knight of the Surrey RCMP Special Victims Unit. It is important to know that you will not be in trouble with the police and you are not the one to blame in this situation.

Our message to parents - talk to your kids about sextortion and teach them how to be safe online including what to do if they have been targeted and they have shared explicit images. We all wish to protect our kids and everyone has a role to play. Learn about the signs of extortion and learn how to help youth not become victims to it, added Sgt. Knight.

Family Statement:

It has been almost one year since we lost our son. He loved hockey and he loved life. Not a day goes by that we don’t miss him. He was an innocent child who was taken advantage of due to his innocence.

As we grieve the loss of our son, we want other parents to know this could happen to anyone. Talk to your kids about Internet Safety and keep the door to communication open so they can come to you for help.

It brings us some comfort to know the person responsible is being held accountable. We hope this does not happen to another child. We want to thank the Surrey RCMP who has provided us with support and kept us apprised of what was going on throughout the investigation.

As we grieve the loss of our beloved son, we ask for privacy. We do not wish to provide anything more and we do not wish to be contacted by the media.

Backgrounder on Financial Sextortion:

Financial sextortion is a type of online blackmail that is on the rise, and primarily targets boys. It involves asking a victim for sexual images or videos and then threatening to share them with others unless the victim pays the offender. Offenders pose as girls of a similar age and use fake accounts to target youth, deceiving them into sending explicit photos or videos. The offender then threatens to release the sexual materials unless the victim sends them money in the form of cash, crypto currency or gift cards. These offenders rely on threats and aggressive behaviour to get victims to send them what they want.

What to do if you are being financially sextorted:

If you need help, there are resources available to you:

For media inquiries contact:
Sgt. Tammy Lobb
Surrey RCMP Media Relations Unit
Office: 604-599-7776

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