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Internet fraud: EFCC recovers $314, 000 US with FBI collaboration

By Adams Agbo, Kaduna

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has said that the collaboration between the commission and the United States Federal Bureau For Investigation (FBI)  has led to the recovery of the sum of $314,000 US dollars, while 373 million naira from computer related fraud perpetrators has been traced to various commercial banks.

This revelation was made by the Zonal Head, Kaduna Zonal Office, Mr. Mailafia Yakubu, at a press briefing held at the commission’s office, in Kaduna.

He added that prior to the collaborative effort with the FBI, the Kaduna Zonal office of the commission through intelligence had launched several sting operations on various computer related frauds which resulted in the arrest of 48 fraudsters in their hideout among which the zone secured conviction of 23, while others are in various stages of investigation and prosecution.

According to him, “The recently joint operations conducted by the commission has yielded tremendous success leading to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of suspects.

“He said that one of the suspects linked to the FBI wanted list was arrested in Kaduna.”

Yakubu stated that the Zonal office has from January received 345 petitions of corruption and internet fraud, 286 were considered for investigations, 52 forwarded to the legal and prosecution department and 56 cases are in court, adding that the Zonal office recovered the sum of 198.7 million naira and $48,000 US dollars in cash and draft.

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The Zonal head explained that the impact on this type of crime (internet fraud) can be felt on the lives, economy and international reputation of a nation, and that some of the impacts include monetary losses, piracy, loss of vital information and threat to security of lives and properties.

“The EFCC according to section 7:(1)(b) established in 2004 has the power to cause investigation to be conducted into the properties of any person if it appears to the commission that the person’s lifestyle and extent of the properties are not justified by his source of income.

“Secret 3 of the Advanced Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006 empowers the EFCC to cause investigate and prosecute a person who is being the occupier or is concerned in the management of any of the premises, cause or knowingly permits the premises to be used for any purpose which constitutes an offence under this act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to imprisonment or a term not more than 15 years and not less than 5 years without an option of a fine,” he elaborated.

Yakubu urged the media, society and parents to assist the commission in the fight against corruption and internet fraud adding that it is the only way the country can win this war on corruption.