USA: Dammy Krane arrested with fake credit cards in Miami Dade, Florida

Nigerian pop star Dammy Krane, whose given name is Oyindamola Emmanuel Johnson-Hunga, was arrested at Opa-locka Airport on credit card fraud, grand theft and fraudulent identification charges. Miami-Dade Corrections

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Seven fake credit cards were found in the pockets of Dammy Krane on 1 June when he was arrested at Opa-locka Executive Airport in Miami Dade, Florida.

Singer Dammy Krane: before and after he was arrested at Miami Dade in Florida

A report in New Miami Times said the police have now slammed a nine count felony charge at Miami Dade’s criminal court for credit card forgery and grand theft against the 23-year-old pop artist, whose real name is Oyindamola Emmanuel Johnson-Hunga.

Dammy Krane’s trouble began after he used a bogus card to book a private jet flight to Washington, D.C., police said. When the police searched him, they found seven false credit cards in his wallet, according to the police report, details of which Miami New Times published today.

Agents from the mobile-phone booking app TapJets had called the police, when they found that the first card Dammy Krane tendered was bogus. The jet company told Miami-Dade Police that Krane and a partner, Chukwuebuka Ilochonwu, had booked a $10,943 trip on a jet from Opa-Locka to Washington, D.C.

Krane lists a permanent U.S. address in Baltimore on the police report, according to the report by Miami New Times.

Two MDPD officers staked out the jet runway until Krane and Ilochonwu showed up. Police searched the pair and found seven cards in Krane’s pants pocket. When authorities checked the cards later, all seven had numbers on the face that didn’t match the numbers on the security strip on the back.

MDPD says Krane used one of those cards to book his flight and then gave TapJet two other fake cards when he was asked for backup cards for the travel.

His co-defendant, Ilochonwu, police soon learned, was out on bond on four other credit card fraud charges.

He’d been arrested in April on felony charges stemming from a case in Miami Beach.

Dammy Krane who is now out on bail has tried to exculpate himself from the arrest mess, blaming “agents” and assuring fans he’s innocent.

“I do not partake in fraud,” Krane says. “I do not partake in such activities. Agents booked my flights with fraudulent cards.”

“My life is all about my music, and that’s what I’m all about,” he says. “I’m sorry I got caught up in this mess.”

The Benue-born Krane rose to fame five years ago on the success of his hit single “My Dear,” He became a major player in the Afropop scene, with quarter-million followers on Twitter and regular chart-topping hits.

Krane is accused of using a fraudulent card to buy the tickets. After not getting on a plane with his friend, Ilochonwu threw him under the bus. He told police Krane bought the tickets. That left Ilochonwu, 26, facing only grand theft charges from this arrest, but he’s still a guest of the county jail.

When arrested, he was out on bond while his April case on credit card fraud, grand theft, and fraudulent ID possession charges goes through the legal system.

Krane, a Baltimore resident, posted $22,500 bond after pleading not guilty in court and on Twitter.

“I do not do fraud,” the 23-year-old said in the Twitter video. “I do not participate in such things. An agent booked my flight with fraudulent cards.”

Chukwuebuka Gabriel Ilonchonwu, out on bond after an April credit card fraud arrest, was arrested on one count of grand theft along with Dammy Krane. Miami-Dade Corrections

Police say TapJets CEO Eugene Kesselman called them after smelling something funky with an attempted ticket purchase earlier June 1. Someone using the private jet booking company’s phone application established an account in the name “Gabriel Ilochonwu” and tried to buy a charter flight using a fake American Express card. Same cell phone, same kind of attempted buy-by-fraud as happened on March 24, according to the TapJets system.

When that Amex card got rejected, Kesselman said, the same cell phone created a second account under “Emmanuel Johnson.” The second try at a buy went through for $10,943.01. But when TapJets checked with the banks issuing the cards, the arrest report said, the banks said none of the cards were issued under any of the names used by Krane or Ilochonwu.

A TapJets employee told police she fielded a phone call from an “Emmanuel Johnson” who wanted to make sure that the jet he reserved would actually be there. She said the caller asked if there was a problem with the credit card used for the reservation. Aware of the fraud, but wanting to keep the caller in the dark, she said there wasn’t a problem, but he could leave another card if he wanted.

The caller left two credit card numbers and emailed a third, completing the hat trick of fraudulent numbers, according to the report. TapJets called the police, who waited at Opa Locka airport for Krane and Ilochonwu to arrive for their flight.

Post-arrest, police claim, Krane gave permission to search his Samsung Galaxy 7 phone. Police say they found the TapJets app and saved on that app was the Amex card rejected earlier in the day.