The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it registered no less than 200 arrests of Internet fraud suspects, popularly known as “Yahoo Boys,” only in October.
Latest Nigeria newspaper report that The interim president of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, stated this in an interactive session with journalists on Friday in Abuja.
According to Magu, the most significant capture of the commission was Instagram’s celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha, and her Lebanese accomplice, Hamza Koudeih.
He said the suspects, who were “leaders of an Organized Network of Cyber Trade Unions (OCSN),” allegedly washed a total of N33 billion. Magu said: “Five wristwatches valued at more than N60 million were recovered from Mompha at the point of arrest.
Latest Nigeria newspaper report that The investigation has also revealed that it operates 51 bank accounts in Nigeria with which it acquired property in Dubai and had washed about N14 billion through Ismalob Global Investments Limited.
“His accomplice, Koudeih, also has two companies, namely: THK Services Limited and CHK properties Limited, with which he has allegedly washed around N19 billion.
“Koudeih lives in a five million dollar suite per year in the Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island Lakes. The EFCC chief said the arrests underlined the agency’s commitment to the fight against corruption and economic crime.
He added that there were also clear messages for “high-level scammers who can only execute, but cannot hide, sooner rather than later, we will get them. The effort to eliminate all scammers continues. At the same time, we will keep pace with the vigorous prosecution of fraud cases in court.
“Scammers represent a large percentage of the 890 convictions that the commission has registered this year. Several assets have been seized, while the victims have also enjoyed restitution by court order,” he said.
While he noted that the battle “is far from being won,” the anti-corruption czar renewed his call for support from interested parties, especially the media, to the commission.
Magu said that young people, who were mainly involved in cyber fraud, needed to raise awareness about the consequences of their actions not only for their future but also for the image and economy of the nation.
Latest Nigeria newspaper report that He reiterated the commission’s resolution to rehabilitate those ready to turn a new sheet and help them put their skills into practice.
“Young people must learn the virtues of integrity and hard work as the path to sustainable wealth.
“They must realize that crime does not pay; rather, it will destroy their perspectives and ruin their chances of a dignified life. For those who are sorry and prepared to turn a new sheet, the commission is fully willing to help channel their cybernetic energies and skills into a definite company.
“We are considering a policy that will help in the rehabilitation of condemned but repentant Internet scammers. This is to ensure that their skills are applied positively to help build a better Nigerian society,” said Magu.