“The Punisher” or Nigerian Prince?
Does the name “The Punisher” mean anything to you? It may be if you’re an avid boxing fan. Albert “The Punisher” Onolunose from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will forever be known for his involvement in a $3 million telemarketing lottery scam—rather than winning the Nigerian Boxing championship five times during his boxing career.
The Punisher in Action
Albert Onolunose is accused of being involved in a $3-million cross-border telemarketing/lottery scam along with being charged with fraud for using $5,000 worth of counterfeit postage and intending to use the mail to defraud people from all over the globe.
Calgary’s economic crime unit investigators had a search warrant for an apartment on Glamis Drive S.W. Sergeant Chris Palmer said that although the Punisher wasn’t the target of the investigation when the police came to search the premises, the former boxing champion fled the scene via the second-story balcony.
When the police finally caught up to Onolunose, they found a box of counterfeit prepaid envelopes on his person. The discovery led to a more detailed investigation which uncovered 5,000 letters in a local Canadian Post Sorting plant that was allegedly sent by Onolunose using phony postage.
Finally, Have a Face to The Prince(s)?
The charges against Onolunose are in connection with the fake postage on the envelopes. What was inside the envelopes is the basis for a much more extensive investigation. When the police opened the letters, they learned that the envelopes contained a fake letter telling people they had won some lottery.
According to NextWebSecurity.com, our Nigerian prince had eight other brothers in on the scam. Ibrahim Daud (Calgary), Kingsley Chimela Odoemena (Calgary); Jebefumere Bone Albert (Burnaby), Nigel Thomas Osayande (Toronto), Kabiru Julius Odion (Calgary), Alysia Dawn Mayert (Calgary), Darlynton Oseah Omolene (Calgary), and Francis Amankwaa (Calgary) had all been arrested in 2009. Somehow the Punisher was able to remain in hiding, and continue scamming, people for five years.
Nigerian Boxing Championships Does Pay Well
Onolunose wasn’t the only championship winner from Nigeria that was in on the scam. Jegbefumere (Bone) Albert won a gold medal for Nigeria at the 2002 Commonwealth games and also competed in the 2000 Olympics. Jegbefumere Albert suffered a car crash in 2008 that ruined his career and was awarded a little over $1 million in damages; the ruling was appealed because of his involvement with the lottery scam.
The trial for those who participated in the scams is set for some time in 2015.
Moral of the Story?
As with all lottery scams, if you don’t play, you don’t win. Simple as that. Regardless of the wording, or some incredible story the letter, email, or phone call may try and sell you—if you did not purchase a ticket, there is no way you entered a lottery and no way you could have won.
If you do get a letter that seems suspicious, contact your local authorities and let them know.