EFCC Arrests 393 Suspects in Kano, Benin, Recovers N798.5m

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Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City and Ibrahim Shuaibu in Kano

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Kano and Benin zonal office, said they arrested 393 suspects and recovered over N798.5 million from various suspects who were indicted over financial-related offences in the last eight months.

Out of this 393 suspected, the Benin zonal office arrested 113 and secured 53 convictions.

EFCC Kano Zonal Head, ACP Akaninyene Ezima, told journalists in Kano yesterday that over 280 suspects have so far been arrested this year for various financial-related offences, adding that over 51 various cases were currently being prosecuted at different courts in the state.

”So far, we have 51 various cases currently ongoing in the courts, which are at different stages of completion. But right now, we have legal vacation and once the vacation is over, we will resume.

“On money laundering, we have been able to recover N550 million from January to August this year.

”Over 280 suspects have been arrested for committing various offences this year. Several of them are in court and in different stages of investigations,” he added.

According to him, the commission’s operatives attached to the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport recovered over $690,400 (N248,544,000) from three intending passengers in their attempt to launder the hard currency abroad.

”There are certain areas of concern to us, not only as a Commission but also as a Zone, and that is the issue of cybercrime. We are all aware of the challenges cybercrime has posed to the commission, as well as the bad name that a few individuals have given us as a country.

”So, we in the Kano Zonal office will not rest on our oars, as the Chairman had directed that we should go all out and ensure that we stamp out this menace.

“With this disturbing development, the Kano zone has developed a lot of intelligence, in order to ensure that we combat this menace head-on,” Ezima said.

Meanwhile, the Benin zonal office, which comprises Edo, Delta and Ondo states, said it was able to achieve the feat through intelligence, raiding of the hideouts of internet fraudsters among others.

This was disclosed by the EFCC Benin Zonal Head, Muhtar Bello, while briefing journalists in Benin yesterday.

He added that EFCC in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had arrested a female suspected cyber fraudster who worked in collaboration with her foreign counterparts.

The zonal head said the suspect was involved in obtaining/stealing people’s identification information which she in turn forwarded to her American collaborator.

“Her collaborator uses it to file for fraudulent tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. She receives her cut through Bitcoin. About 185 Bitcoins which by current market value is N656,371,490, has been traced to her,” Bello said.

Bello also disclosed that the office has independently arrested a cyber criminal and two siblings who were involved in Business Email Compromise (BEC).

He said the suspects’ modus operandi was searching for victims’ email addresses, especially official Business Email addresses, a phishing link and compromising the process in order to defraud unsuspecting victims, adding that the suspects would soon be charged to court.

Over 38 exotic cars and SUVs were among items recovered from suspected fraudsters and were displayed before journalists.