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Visa flagged Naira Marley’s credit card for fraud – Witness testifies

Dein Whyte, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) and the 10th prosecution witness in the trial of Nigerian singer, Azeez Fashola aka Naira Marley, has revealed how Visa, a card payment platform, detected fraudulent transactions linked to one of the credit card details found on the artiste’s device.

The witness testified before Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, November 30, 2023.

According to EFCC, 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.”

The investigator also identified malicious tools used to disguise the active location of an internet user when connected to the internet.

Elaborating, Whyte said, “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 told the court that both the phone and laptop recovered from Naira Marley were registered with his credentials, name, and email address. Investigations revealed that the singer exchanged credit card details with other individuals. Notably, one card reported fraudulent usage by Visa. Whyte clarified that the card details on the defendant’s device did not belong to him and were not issued by any financial institution.

Under cross-examination by the defendant’s counsel, Olalekan Ojo, SAN, Whyte confirmed that a Visa investigation confirmed the card had been flagged for fraudulent transactions. However, Visa did not directly link the credit card fraud to the defendant’s device, emphasizing that Visa is a payment platform, not a telecommunication company.

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

Naira Marley is facing an 11-count charge, including conspiracy and credit card fraud, brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.