Magu: cyber fraud, threat to e-commerce in Nigeria
Iyobosa Uwugiaren and Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said it has arrested two of the 77 Nigerians indicted by the Federal Bureau of Information (FBI) in Abuja.
The arrest is coming as the Chairman of the commission, Ibrahim Magu, said cybercrime had become a threat to e-commerce in Nigeria.
The suspects are Chika Augustine and Godspower Nwachukwu. The duo was arrested in Abuja while $35,000 was recovered from Chika Augustine.
The Head of EFCC’s Abuja Zonal Office, Aminu Aliyu told journalists yesterday that the men were arrested prior to FBI indictment.
“Prior to the release of the FBI list, we had in collaboration with the FBI, cases under investigation of which two suspects indicted in the list released by the FBI are in our custody. On the other hand, another suspect on the list is being investigated independently on a different case and his case is pending arraignment,” he said.
Aliyu said the agency recovered N423 million, $39,253 and €2330 between January and August 2019.
He said the zone was fighting cybercrime through intelligence gathering and collaboration with other agencies.
Aliyu further disclosed that 33 convictions were secured between January and August 2019 while 293 arrests were made. He said 465 cases are presently under investigation.
He said the mode of operation of the fraudsters includes love scams, email phishing, identity theft and fraudulent bit coin and crypto currency sales.
Meanwhile, the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu, has stated that the cyber criminals make the country’s cyberspace unconducive for e-commerce activities.
Magu made the disclosure yesterday at a media briefing in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on the commission’s collaborative efforts with FBI to fight internet-based fraud.
The EFCC boss, who was represented by the Uyo Deputy Zonal Head, Alex Ebbah, announced that the office has made the zone “too hot” for cyber criminals and had recorded 60 arrests and 37 convictions on internet fraud cases, this year.
“Property recovered include exotic cars and a 5-bedroom duplex situated in Calabar, Cross River State,” he said.
He said the zone was on full alert to track and arrest any internet fraud suspect, especially those on the FBI list of wanted cyber fraudsters.
While calling on the media and Nigerians to support the fight against cybercrimes, Magu stressed that it was important to sanitise the cyberspace and make it conducive for e-commerce activities.
“We, therefore, urge the media and Nigerians to continue to lend their voices to the fight against cyber fraud and other variants of financial crime. This is because, if we do not join hands together in this fight, the activities of these cyber fraudsters, will continue to make our cyberspace unsafe for e-commerce activities,” he said in a statement issued by the commission.