Officials from Cybercrime Circle of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have revealed that two of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s ten most-wanted cyber criminals have been arrested by their department on FBI’s request. The suspects Noor Azizuddin and Farhanul Arshad were arrested from their house in Federal B Area in a pre-dawn raid by FIA. Azizuddin’s two young sons Osama and Omair were also arrested along with his brother Faisal and Arshad, Azizuddin’s nephew.
The raid was led by the deputy director of FIA’s Cybercrime Circle Mr. Mir Mazhar Jabbar. The arrested suspects have now been moved to an unidentified location.
Jabbar while giving an interview to the press stated that the names of these two suspects were listed on FBI’s website and the American agency claims that they were involved in the wire fraud conspiracy, gaining unlawful access to computers and stealing identities.
A reward of up to $50,000 was also being offered by the FBI to anyone who shares information leading to their arrest. According to the website Arshad and Azizuddin were allegedly involved in an international telecommunication scheme and had committed various frauds against unsuspecting users, government organizations/institutions and companies.
As per the FBI website, the two suspects allegedly compromised computer systems between November 2008 and April 2012 and committed fraud of over $50million. Members of a criminal organization having networks in Pakistan, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Spain, Singapore, Philippines and Switzerland were also involved in the fraud.
Upon request of FBI, the United States district court New Jersey issued a federal arrest warrant for Azizuddin on June 29, 2012, soon after he was indicted for conspiring to commit fraud like identity theft and wire fraud.
Suspect’s family however, claims that in Malaysia the Interpol apprehended Azizuddin in 2012, and later released him the same year due to lack of evidence from the FBI. FBI has admitted this report and an FBI official explained that:
“The issue is that the FBI failed to interrogate him properly [in Malaysia] and were only able to scan the one laptop he had on him there.”
However, after this incident, Azizuddin’s entire family was accused for being involved in cybercrimes and were suspected to run the business under the name of Faisal. Azizuddin used his son’s bank accounts along with Arshad’s to store the stolen money.
Jabbar added that
“We will inform the FBI, which will also dispatch its officials here for evidence sharing and interrogation. The accused will, however, not be handed over to them [FBI] as we have already registered a case against them for their cybercrimes in Pakistan.”
A case has been filed on behalf of the state under sections on money laundering, banking law and electronic transactions ordinance (FIR No 10/15).