The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has said its collaboration with America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation against Internet fraudsters, popularly called Yahoo boys, is yielding results.
The Lagos zonal head of the EFCC, Mohammed Rabo, who addressed the press on Tuesday on behalf of the commission’s acting Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said the EFCC and the FBI were jointly working on 80 cases of cybercrime at the moment.
Rabo said though the EFCC’s campaign against Yahoo Yahoo well predated the collaboration with the FBI and had resulted in tremendous success; the new alliance with the American agency had taken the campaign a notch higher.
He said the collaboration had already yielded 28 arrests and the recovery of $314,000 and N373m stashed in various banks by Internet fraudsters.
Rabo said, “As you are all aware, we had independently launched intensive investigative actions against the infamous Yahoo Yahoo boys, culminating in various strategic raids and onslaught on their hideouts.
“Our efforts in this regard have recorded tremendous successes leading to a number of arrests, prosecutions and convictions.
“From 2018 to date, the EFCC, prior to the collaborative efforts with the FBI, had launched a sustained operation on perpetrators of various computer-related frauds, which resulted in over 200 arrests, 130 convictions and recovery of a large number of exotic cars and properties suspected to have been acquired through the proceeds of crime.
“Meanwhile, the recent collaborative efforts between the EFCC and the FBI have yielded 28 arrests, out of which 14 suspects have been charged and convicted, nine are currently undergoing trial and five are still under investigations.
“We have also recovered the sum of $314,000 and another sum of about N373,000,000 traced to various commercial banks.
“Also, over 80 cases are still under investigation from the EFCC-FBI joint operations.”
When asked whether the EFCC would help in the arrest of the 78 Nigerians recently indicted for Internet scam in the US by the FBI, Rabo said investigation was ongoing but he could not say much in order not to jeopardise it.
He urged the media and Nigerians to continue to lend their voices to the fight against corruption and economic and financial crimes, saying that “no one has the monopoly of knowledge on how the fight should be fought and won.”
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