Spanish police arrest Nigerian ′archduchess′ for posing as UN Women head | News | DW | 02.01.2020
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Spanish police arrest Nigerian 'archduchess' for posing as UN Women head

The Nigerian-born Spanish national claimed an extensive resume: head of the Spanish branch of UN Women, politician, detective, author, legal expert, and finance consultant. Ultimately, though, it landed her in trouble.

Police in Spain arrested on Thursday a woman who posed as the president of the Spanish branch of UN Women, requesting funds and giving interviews to the media. 

The woman of Nigerian origin with Spanish nationality was detained in Denia on Spain's eastern Mediterranean coast on charges of impersonation and fraud.

Read moreHow the 'Nigerian mafia' exploits African women in Europe

The woman allegedly provided online legal courses and solicited "funds to carry out different projects related to the institution she claimed to represent," police said in a statement.

She "participated in conferences and gave interviews in different media," police said.

The investigation began in mid-2018 when the police received a complaint from the New York-based UN Women about a woman posing as the president of UN Women in Spain and the Spanish National Committee of UN Women.

UN Women, a body "dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women," does not have a country office in Spain, according to its website.

Read more:  Europe's 'most wanted' women fugitives revealed

After the complaint, there were several communications between the organization and the woman in order to make her understand the illicit actions. She was asked to stop, but refused.

Big claims, little backing 

Spanish media identified the woman as Helen Mukoro Idisi.

On her personal website, she describes herself an "archduchess" and "Nigerian aristocrat," as well as a "Spanish politician, detective, author, legal expert, business and finance consultant."

The books she allegedly wrote, including such titles as "Make Wealth Anywhere," were sold on Amazon. 

Her other claimed titles are president of the African Europe Chamber of Commerce, a non-existent organization, and "advisor on diaspora and auxiliary affairs" of the Delta State of Nigeria, where she was born.

She also established a political party, "Union de Todos" (Union for All), and participated in at least three elections. According to El Confidencial newspaper, she received the fewest votes to be Spain's head of government in the last election, with just 31 votes.

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