The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have traced a total of N486 million to Nigerians engaged in computer-related fraud.
During a media briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, August 27, 2019, the anti-graft agency’s Lagos Zonal Head, Mohammed Rabo, speaking on behalf of EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, said the sum of $314,000 has been recovered while N373 million has been traced to various commercial banks.
Rabo said the joint operations, coordinated by the EFCC, resulted in 28 arrests.
Nine of the arrested suspects are already undergoing trial while five are still under investigations.
“Over 80 cases are still under investigation from the EFCC-FBI joint operations,”
He also disclosed that the EFCC has independently arrested 200 suspects in connection to various computer-related frauds since 2018, leading to 130 convictions and recovery of a large number of exotic cars and properties suspected to have been acquired through the proceeds of crime.
“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.”
The collaboration between the FBI and EFCC comes on the heels of the indictment of almost 80 Nigerians by the U.S. government for massive fraud.
In a 252-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed on Thursday, August 22, 2019, the defendants are accused of participating in a massive conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a variety of fraud schemes and launder the funds through a Los Angeles-based money laundering network ran by two Nigerians.
“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history,”
United States Attorney for the Central District of California, Nick Hanna, said during a press conference on Thursday.
With only 17 suspects in custody of the U.S. government, the Assistant Director in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Paul Delacourt, disclosed that the agency is working with security agencies in nine countries to apprehend 57 defendants.
The Nigerian government announced this week that it would consider extraditing indicted suspects to the U.S. if required.
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