Police Make 18 26 Arrests In Connection With City ID Theft Ring

Vivian Lee reports:

The New York City Police Department has arrested 18 people, mostly natives of Nigeria, who were allegedly in the business of stealing identities and stole at least $5 million. They allegedly affected more than 200 soldiers, including many of whom were unaware of what was happening, since they were serving overseas.

Some of the soldiers were even on active duty in Afghanistan and Iraq.

“In fact, one soldier came home last Christmas, only to find his account had been emptied,” said Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.

Police said the ring was centered on Staten Island and busted after a two-year investigation called “Operation Hydra” that went far beyond the borough.

“This investigation reached into Brooklyn; Westchester; Manhattan; Philadelphia; Brennan and Fort Hood, Texas; Atlanta, Ga.; Greensboro, N.C. and the city of Lagos in Nigeria,” said Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan.

Read more on NY1. It’s not clear from the news report if someone who knew the soldier’s assignments was involved in this, as Lee reports:

Two years later, investigators acknowledged the soldiers may have been targeted with the help of someone on the inside, because the soldiers were far from home.

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