Witness Unveils Visa’s Detection of Fraud on Naira Marley’s Credit Card
By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria
In the ongoing trial of Nigerian singer Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, the 10th prosecution witness, Dein Whyte, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), disclosed to Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, how Visa, a card payment platform, detected fraudulent transactions linked to one of the credit card details found on the singer’s device.
Whyte, led by the prosecution counsel Bilikisu Buhari, explained that forensic analysis during the investigation revealed malicious programs used for illegal acquisition of credit card information on the device recovered from the defendant. These programs facilitated card non-present transactions.
The investigator identified tools on the device that masked the user’s active location when connected to the internet. Whyte further detailed that tools used to verify the validity, active state, and accuracy of credit card credentials, along with the region of the card issuer, were discovered on the defendant’s device. The analysis also unveiled websites accessed on the defendant’s computer, including those where credit card information is illegally traded.
The witness disclosed 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 faces an 11-count charge, including conspiracy and credit card fraud, brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.