EFCC Recovered N152bn, $386m, Others in 2021

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•Arrests 22 suspected oil bunkerers

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja

In continuation of the review of its operational activities in 2021, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday disclosed that between January and December, 2021, it recovered a total of N152, 088,698,751.64 and $386,220,202.84 million.

In addition, it revealed that £1, 182,519.75, €156,246.76, 1,723,310.00 Saudi Riyal, 1,900.00 South African Rand, and 1, 400.00 Canadian dollar were also recovered by the Commission.

The recovery also included a digital currency component with 5, 36957319 Bitcoin and 0.09012 Ethereum.

This comes as the anti-graft agency said 22 suspected oil bunkerers and a vessel, MT. TIS IV, handed over to the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the EFCC by the Nigeria Navy were quizzed in connection with alleged illegal dealing in petroleum products.

A statement by the commission said its operational headquarters in Abuja dominated the recoveries with N67, 249, 744, 994.89, $375,662,223.59 and £1,151,539.75.

It was closely followed by the Lagos Zonal Command which led the naira recoveries with N70, 315,611,260.52, $9,286,497.83 and £21,500.00.

Furthermore, it stated that its Kaduna Zonal Command emerged third in terms of naira recoveries with a total sum of N3, 339,405,723.93 while the Ibadan Zonal Command took the same position in terms of dollar recoveries to the tune of $387,385.00.

Giving an overview of the performance, the Executive Chairman of the Commission, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa, explained that the monies included direct and indirect recoveries for the different tiers of government (federal, state and local governments), corporate organisations and individuals (victims of crime) within the year under review.

He commended the personnel of the commission for the performance while urging them to redouble their efforts to ensure that perpetrators of economic and financial crimes are denied the benefit of the proceeds of crime.

Meanwhile, the commission said 22 suspected oil bunkerers and a vessel, MT. TIS IV, handed over to the Port Harcourt Zonal Command by the Nigeria Navy were under investigation in connection with alleged illegal dealing in petroleum products.

The suspects, arrested by the Nigerian Naval Ship, (NNS) Soroh, Naval Base, Camp Porbeni, Yenagoa along Akassa Rivers, Bayelsa State, on December 6, 2021, and handed over to the EFCC on Friday, January 7, 2022, included Levi Jonathan; Eze Kenneth; Enemari Peter James; Sunday Ereku; Emmanuel Ogbonna; Timi Amos; Fatai Kareem; Chuks Egbo, Tony Atawo and Saviour Martin.

Others are Yoosu Alex; Isac Iboro; Bassey Okon; Kingsley Edet; Taye Poto; Saturday Sobere; Alfred Atiemie; Owei Ibolo; Felix Onome; Odus Osita, Etim Edet and Mudashird Tarheed

Representative of Nigeria Navy, Navy Commander P. E Effah, who handed over the suspects and the vessel MT. TIS IV to the EFCC, said they were arrested for alleged involvement in illegal oil bunkering activities.

The statement noted that at the time of arrest, the vessel was laden with about 700,000 litres of products suspected to be illegally sourced crude oil.

“Both the vessel and the suspects were remanded at Brass for safe keeping and preliminary investigations. However, today, we are handing over the vessel and crew members to the EFCC for proper investigation”, he said.

Representative of the EFCC, who took over the suspects and the vessel on behalf of the commission, Assistant Superintendent of the EFCC, ASE Anthony Mark, thanked the Navy and promised diligent investigation and possible prosecution of the suspects.