FBI blasted for singling out 6 Nigerians in wanted list that has Russians, Chinese, Arabs: 'What ism is this?'
In a list containing 39 men of Arab origin, 16 Russians, and 20 Chinese/Southeast Asian guys, the FBI highlighted the 6 Nigerians as 'poster boys'
As systemic racism and police brutality continue to dominate headlines following the Memorial Day death of George Floyd, the FBI has been accused of mishandling one of its red alerts.
The FBI recently appealed to members of the public to share any information that could lead to the arrest of six Nigerian internationals wanted for their alleged involvement in over $6 million worth of internet fraud.
"Help the FBI find six Nigerian nationals wanted for their involvement in business email compromise schemes resulting in over $6 million in losses," they wrote alongside a picture of the wanted men.
However, many were displeased with how the FBI handled the alert and questioned why the six Nigerians had been highlighted when there were several other nationals also on the wanted list who could just as easily have been mentioned in the headline.
The six Nigerians, identified as Richard Izuchukwu Uzuh, Alex Afolabi Ogunshakin, Felix Osilama Okpoh, Abiola Ayorinde Kayode, and Nnamdi Orson Benson, are wanted for their alleged involvement in Business Email Compromise (BEC) scheme that defrauded over 70 different businesses in the United States resulting in combined losses of over $6,000,000.
The men reportedly impersonated business executives and requested and received wire transfers from legitimate business accounts. "Money was also stolen from innocent Americans by romance fraud, in which the designees masqueraded as affectionate partners to gain trust from victims," the FBI said.
Detailing Uzuh's role in the scheme, they said he "allegedly worked with money launderers, romance scammers, and others involved in BEC schemes to launder the proceeds of their crimes through a complex network of witting and unwitting people in the United States and abroad."
The other five were similarly involved in various facets of the scam, which also included advanced fee fraud schemes, and have all been indicted in the United States District Court, District of Nebraska, Omaha, Nebraska, on charges of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud. Warrants have been issued for all of their arrests.
But followers on social media questioned why they had been singled out when Russians, Chinese, Arabians, and other nationals featured in the wanted list as well.
"I counted 79 wanted criminals, almost 20 are Russian, about the same number are of Chinese origin (including syndicates), a sizeable number are Arabian etc. The minority black/Nigerian 6 of 79 instead made the headline. Is there a Nigerian agenda going on with the US government?" one wrote.
"I checked this list, there are 39 men of Arab origin, 16 Russians, 20 Chinese/Southeast Asian guys, and just 6 Nigerians," another tweeted. "But guess who FBI chose as the poster boys for this crime? The 6 Nigerians. What '-ism' is this?"
"Racism at its peak," a third posted. "This list has: 39 men of Arab origin, 16 Russians, 20 Chinese/Southeast Asian guys, 6 Nigerians. But racist FBI has chosen the only 6 Nigerians as the poster boys for this crime. Criminals are in every nation of the world but the moment you are black..."