…Records 111 Internet fraud convictions in South West
Soni Daniel, Abuja
The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has disclosed that the agency is collating comprehensive data on the 77 Nigerians indicted in the recently busted money laundering and cybercrime offences in the United States.
It will be recalled that 77 of the 80 suspects were allegedly involved in the crimes investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, in the U.S.
Magu, who spoke through the Head of the Ibadan zonal office, Friday Ebelo, during a press conference in Ibadan, Oyo State, said the massive data collection was part of the collaborative activities between the EFCC and FBI to ensure that criminal elements are exposed and made to pay for their crimes.
A statement by the Spokesman for the EFCC, Mr Wilson Uwujaren said that journalists in attendance at the event were held spellbound when Ebelo took them through the intricate connections between the local Yahoo Boys and their offshore criminal collaborators.
According to him, the essence of the data mining exercise was to establish any form of relationship the indicted individuals may have with Nigeria-based suspects, and how this could help in furthering the fight against economic and financial crimes in the country.
He said that the information earlier collected had led to the arrest of many internet fraudsters, adding that one of the kingpins was nabbed during a recent raid in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State.
The kingpin, Ajayi Gbenga Festus, he added, was found to be deeply involved in much internet-related frauds from which he had benefited up to N75 million in the last eight months.
“We were able to establish a number of illicit transactions through his Nigerian bank account amounting to over N223 million. Ajayi serves as a conduit pipe through which proceeds of crime reach members of the syndicate,” he stated.
Ebelo also disclosed that in the course of the year, the zone arrested 263 suspects for cybercrimes. Of this number, 111 were convicted.
Apart from landed properties, vehicles, laptops and other valuables forfeited on the order of the court, huge sums of money in local and foreign currencies traced to internet fraud were also recovered.