AFRICAN STUDENTS UNLAWFULLY “ARRESTED” AND “SUSPENDED” FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF ECONOMICS AND INNOVATION POLAND

Facts are published day and night but the truth may still be hidden behind the sun. A letter anonymously written to a human rights group in Poland reveals the story of some African students from the University of Economics and Innovation in Lublin who were charged and arrested for money laundering without any evidence.

As contained in the letter, the students were detained on 28 October 2020 and suspended from school.

Allegedly, the one man behind the arrest is the District Prosecutor,  “Piotr Wójcick”. The students were arrested individually at their resident without warrant and accused of belonging to a group involved in money laundering:

A part of the letter read:

“They were arrested by District Prosecutor Mr Piotr Wójcick, from their individual homes on the account of being members of a group involved in money laundering.

They were subjected to the 48hrs questioning by the prosecutor. They were accused of sending and receiving money from individuals who are involved in fraud.

They informed the prosecutor that they had no idea this (the) individuals is (were) involved in any crime as he had told them he deals in cars business and have been seen buying cars in Poland and sending to Africa to sell.

They explained the whole transactions individually to the prosecutor.” 

This resembles the case of a Polish organised crime network suspected of online payment scams and money laundering arrested by the Polish National Police in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies in Europe who accessed 25 houses in Poland in late May 2017.

Followed with a published article on Europol’s official website (www.europol.europa.eu):

“The perpetrators were advertising online cars as well as construction or agricultural machinery/vehicles, but never delivered the advertised goods to interested buyers, despite having received advance fee payments.”

As of the time of the successful arrest, Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) said: 

“This is another example of successful cooperation between European law enforcement agencies to tackle active cybercriminal groups scamming members of the public across Europe.

Great work by the Polish National Police assisted by EC3 and law enforcement agencies across Europe who tackled a sophisticated group using complex methods to abuse electronic payment systems.

The clear message to cybercriminals is that law enforcement agencies are working closely together to tackle cross border cyber criminality and the criminals will be caught.”

Unlike the arrest of the African students whose identity were protected in the letter, the police searched the perpetrators’ computers and phones and found evidence of cybercrime.

Under the supervision of Wójcick, the students were interrogated and forced to still plead guilty and take a plea deal for a crime they didn’t commit. 

From deduction, the number of students in Wójcick’s or the police custody are 3, and according to the discloser one of them have been released although the ground for the release wasn’t provided.

With approval from a Polish court, a trial was scheduled to take place last month, in Lublin on 25 July 2021. There has been no substantial information about the trial as of the time of writing this article.


By Elijah Christopher

Elijah Christopher
Elijah Christopher is a journalist at A New Touch Of Africa, is also a creative writer, a poet, and an IT enthusiast. He contributed to the collaborative poem written in celebration of Edwin Morgan Centenary, the first Glasgow poet laureate and Scottish national poet from the University of Glasgow. He loves meeting people and learning about new places, cultures, events, and lifestyles.

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