EFCC Mounts Sur­veil­lance for 10 Nige­ri­ans Al­legedly In­volved in In­ter­net Scam

Se­cures con­vic­tions of 23, re­cov­ers N198m, $48,000 in Kaduna

THISDAY - - NEWSEXTRA -

The Eco­nomic and Fi­nan­cial Crimes Com­mis­sion (EFCC) has said it has mounted sur­veil­lance for 10 of the 78 Nige­ri­ans from the South-east, al­legedly in­volved in scam.

The com­mis­sion has also said it has se­cured con­vic­tions for 23 out of the 48 sus­pects ar­rested for var­i­ous in­ter­net fraud be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust.

The Head of Enugu Zonal Of­fice of the com­mis­sion, Mr. Us­man Imam, dis­closed this yes­ter­day in Enugu while brief­ing jour­nal­ists on the ac­tiv­i­ties of the com­mis­sion in the past eight months.

It would be re­called that the US Depart­ment of Jus­tice had in­dicted 80 per­sons, in­clud­ing 78 Nige­ri­ans, in the multi-bil­lion dol­lar fraud.

Imam said that the anti-graft agency was se­ri­ously work­ing with the scoop at its dis­posal and had placed sur­veil­lance on the sus­pects.

He gave the as­sur­ance that the sus­pects would be ar­rested and pros­e­cuted “in or­der to prove to the world that such crime does not rep­re­sent our val­ues”.

He said that the com­mis­sion had the le­gal back­ing to pros­e­cute the sus­pects in line with in­ter­na­tional treaties.

“There is a mu­tual treaty be­tween Nige­ria and the USA. We will ar­rest them and if need be ex­tra­dite them to the USA,” Imam said.

He said that the al­leged of­fence was multi-ju­ris­dic­tional “be­cause the stages lead­ing to the crime was ei­ther ini­ti­ated in Nige­ria or the pro­ceeds brought to the coun­try”.

He said that it was un­ac­cept­able to see par­ents en­joy­ing ill-got­ten wealth of their chil­dren, who they knew had no se­ri­ous means of liveli­hood.

“Such also ap­plies to the clergy and tra­di­tional rulers who rather than ques­tion sus­pi­ciously ac­quired wealth not only at­tribute it to God, but be­stow ti­tles on such in­di­vid­u­als.

“We as­sure Nige­ri­ans of our com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing a bet­ter Nige­ria so we warn loot­ers and fraud­sters about the con­se­quences of their ac­tions,” Imam said.

Mean­while, the com­mis­sion said it has se­cured con­vic­tions for 23 out of the 48 sus­pects ar­rested for var­i­ous in­ter­net fraud be­tween Jan­uary and Au­gust.

The Head of Kaduna Zonal of­fice of the EFCC Zonal, Mr Mailafia Yakubu, dis­closed this at a news con­fer­ence in Kaduna yes­ter­day.

“The Kaduna Zonal of­fice through in­tel­li­gence re­ports launched sev­eral sting op­er­a­tions on var­i­ous com­puter re­lated frauds which re­sulted in the ar­rest of 48 in­ter­net fraud­sters in their hide­outs.

“The zone se­cured con­vic­tion of 23 per­sons, while oth­ers are in var­i­ous stages of in­ves­ti­ga­tion and pros­e­cu­tion,” he said.

Yakubu said the zonal of­fice also re­cov­ered N198,727,241.5 and $48,000 in cash and draft within the pe­riod un­der re­view.

Ac­cord­ing to him, the com­mis­sion re­ceived 345 pe­ti­tions, out of which 286 were con­sid­ered for in­ves­ti­ga­tions, while 52 were for­warded to its le­gal and pros­e­cu­tion depart­ment and 56 cases are in court.

He said that the com­mis­sion’s re­cent col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion (FBI) had also yielded results lead­ing to the re­cov­ery of the sum of $314,000 and about N373, 000,000 from com­puter re­lated frauds, while the sum of N373 mil­lion had been traced to var­i­ous com­mer­cial banks.

“It is my plea­sure to brief you on our ef­fort to rid the so­ci­ety of eco­nomic and fi­nan­cial crimes, most es­pe­cially in­ter­net fraud, pop­u­larly known as (ya­hoo ya­hoo), cy­ber crimes and our col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Fed­eral Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion, FBI.

“In­ter­net is the most widely used com­mu­ni­ca­tion ever con­structed; it is also use by mil­lions of hu­mans and ma­chines ev­ery sec­ond of ev­ery day.

“There are good and bad things hap­pen­ing on the in­ter­net and among other things are on-go­ing at­tempts to scam in­no­cent peo­ple of their money or iden­tity.

“Their modus of operandi in­cludes clone of for­eign num­bers which they in turn use to cre­ate fic­ti­tious email ac­counts on var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms: such as Face­book, In­sta­gram, What­sApp, Skype, Google hang out and they also use the same fake email ad­dresses to open ac­count on for­eign on­line dat­ing site.

“They also use that method to open for­eign bank ac­counts with the help of their coun­ter­parts liv­ing abroad, while they also use fake doc­u­ments to per­pe­trate il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties in the cy­ber space.

“Few among this type of fraud in­clude love/ro­mance scam, con­tract/ com­pany scam, Bit coin busi­ness scam, em­ploy­ment scam, on­line dat­ing, travel scam, im­per­son­ation scam among oth­ers,” Yakubu said.

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