THE United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation has asked the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to assist in tracking and arresting internet fraudsters on its wanted list.
The Ilorin zonal head of the EFCC, Mr Sharu Isyaku, who made this disclosure while speaking to journalists on Friday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, said in furtherance of the FBI’s request, a 36-year-old suspect, Oyediran Joseph, has been arrested in the city.
According to Isyaku, “the suspect benefitted about N60 million from the loot via Western Union Money Transfer.”
The FBI had indicted no fewer than 77 Nigerians in the United States involved in internet fraud and other cybercrimes to the tune $64 million.
Isyaku, who noted that the Ilorin zonal office of the EFCC covers Kwara, Kogi and Ekiti states, said: “Just last three weeks, the US authorities wrote to us for assistance in the tracking and possible arrest and prosecution of two most wanted FBI suspects in Nigeria. The commission accedes to their request.
“The commission has been supportive of the activities of the FBI and every other foreign counterpart whose responsibility is similar or analogous to ours.”
He said the zone had traced four properties linked to some cybercrime suspects to choice areas in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State. The properties, he said, include supermarket and plaza estimated at between N800 million and N1 billion.
“Within seven months of our operation, the Ilorin zonal office has independently arrested over 58 suspected internet fraudsters, secured the conviction of 25 and got forfeiture of their exotic cars and money running into millions of naira to the Federal Government.
“We all know that it is image that sells a product and nothing else. Our strength as a nation is dependent on the vibrancy of our economy which is a common denominator binding us together. Businesses worldwide are being conducted through the internet. This underscores the need for all of us to come together in fighting the scourge of internet fraud with a view to making the cyberspace well fortified so that foreign investors can come in and invest to further boost our economy,” he said.