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EFCC, FBI Arrest 167 Fraudsters, Recovers Over $169,000 In 21 Days

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EFCC And FBI Arrested 167 Nigerians

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced that it has arrested 167 Nigerians for alleged computer-related frauds within 3 weeks.

FBI seeks help finding 6 Nigerians accused of fraud totaling over $6 million  

The Acting EFCC chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, who was represented by Mohammed Abba, the commission’s director of operations, said that the recently completed coordinated operations with the FBI Tagged “Operation Rewired” had enabled the recovery of the sum of $169,850 as well as N92 million.

He also said that four exotic cars, land in prime areas in Lagos, and property in Abuja were also recovered during the operation.

“Being an international model operation targeted at computer-related frauds, the EFCC, FBI collaborative operations, spanning three weeks, was designed to intercept and interrupt the global network of internet fraudsters. Before now, we had relentlessly launched intensive investigative actions against the infamous ‘yahoo yahoo boys’, culminating in various strategic raids, onslaught on criminals hideout, prosecutions, and convictions. Our efforts in collaborating and coordinating the EFCC, FBI joint operations in Nigeria recorded tremendous successes leading to a number of arrests, seizures, and recoveries. The suspected fraudsters arrested in the course of the operation will be persecuted accordingly,” he said.

Abdulrasheed Bawa, therefore, urged the media to continue to mobilize and educate all critical stakeholders to support the fight against economic and financial crime.

He said society owes the youths a social responsibility to raise awareness of the importance of a noble life without crime.

“I wish to state with a high sense of responsibility, there is no shortcut to success other than hard work. The youths, therefore, must shun crime and its alluring temptations, because it will always end in sorrow and regrets. Now that the infamous internet crimes have received global attention and concern, there will be no hiding place for fraudsters,” he said.

Bawa noted that the EFCC will continue to work with the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies, particularly in the area of sharing  ​​information and actionable intelligence. He said that this would reduce the threat of cybercrime and other computer-based frauds in the country.

Also speaking, Mr. Uche Ahamdi, Legal Attaché, FBI, Abuja said that IC3; The FBI’s Global Reporting Internet Fraud received 20,373 Business E-mail Compromised (BEC) complaints with a loss of more than $1.2 billion.

“The FBI and law enforcement partners in the US and abroad implemented a strategy to target and disrupt these scammers and illicit actors and dismantle international fraudulent BEC transactions. The sweep ran from May through September during a four-week period primarily in the U.S., Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, France, Italy, UK, Japan, Kenya, and Malaysia. This was done in accordance with the efforts to dismantle international fraudulent BEC transactions and pursue organized criminal enterprises that target and harm American businesses,” Ahamdi said.

Ahamdi said that the overall goal of the operation is to send a message to all participants in the BEC program that they will be arrested and prosecuted regardless of their location.

“The operation leveraged resources from across the FBI, which enabled it to bring the sum total of FBI cyber organized crime and money laundering expertise to bear on dismantling the criminal enterprise. The surge of resources for this operation will serve as a centerpiece for future cybercriminal strategy in moving forward,” he added.

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