December 19, 2013

EFCC repatriates over $200m in 10 years

Ex-EFCC boss Lamorde to be buried today in Abuja 

Mr Ibrahim Lamorde

By Princewill Ekwujuru

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission,EFCC, said it has repatriated over $200 million to foreign victims of Advance Fee fraud including cyber crime between 2003 and June 2013.

Mr Ibrahim Lamorde

Mr Ibrahim Lamorde

The Chairman of EFCC, Ibrahim Lamorde disclosed this to Brand Journalists in Abeokuta, saying “ The commission has been pursuing a vigorous prosecution of advance fee fraud cases to project the image that Nigeria is not a country that condones cybercrime.”

According to Lamorde, who spoke on the topic: Cyber Crime and Management of Nigeria Image, the commission has arraigned 678 cases in court out of which there were 286 convictions while 17 cases were discharged and five extradited to United States to face charges between 2003 and June 2013.

“We have returned over $200 million as restitution to foreign victims in line with due legal process. Between 2003 and June, 2013, the Lagos unit of EFCC   arraigned 678 cases in court, out of which 286 cases were convicted while 17 cases were discharged. five fugitives were extradited to US,” said Lamorde who was represented by the Head, Advance Fee Fraud of the EFCC, Lagos Command, Chukol Abdulkarim.

The EFCC boss added that following the rating of Nigeria as one of the most corrupt countries by the Financial Action Task Force(FATF) in 2005, countries in Europe, America and Asia whose citizens have fallen victim of cybercrime see Nigeria as a country where fraud is a source of national income, but “through vigorous enforcement initiatives, we always project the image that we are not a country that condone cybercrime,” he explained.

Listing the achievements of the commission in fighting against fraud, Lamorde said that the smashing of notorious Oluwole, hub of fake traveling documents, certificates and currencies by the commission has forced the syndicate to shift to Somolu and Mushin also in Lagos which are now hot spot for fake documents.

On the increasing rate of cybercrimes, Lamorde who said  scammers keep developing new ways of fleecing their victims revealed that they now clone and deface government and business websites to defraud their unsuspecting victims and warned Nigerians against responding to e-mails from unknown sources or disclosing vital personal data to persons they do not trust.

He disclosed that the commission has created a Cybercrime Team at the Advance Fee Fraud Section of the commission to deal with the menace and urged the media to join in the campaign to project a positive image for the country.