Internet fraudsters sponsoring politicians for public offices, says EFCC
• Arrests 398 suspects, secures 170 convictions, recovers N691m, others
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) yesterday said Internet fraudsters were sponsoring politicians into elective offices.The Port Harcourt Zonal Head of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, while giving updates on the nefarious activities and efforts of the anti-graft body and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to contain the menace in the Rivers State capital, disclosed that recent findings gave vent to the assertion.
He said between January and August this year, the zonal office arrested 105 suspects and secured 149 convictions. Bawa said: “We are all aware of the negative economic, social and cultural consequence of this crime. It tarnishes our image nationally and internationally. Our youths are dropping out of school and killing genuine businesses. Recent findings indicate that they are sponsoring politicians into elective positions.”
The EFCC chief said the commission would soon publish names of suspected cyber criminals and the candidates they sponsored into public offices, adding that such would be done when investigations were concluded.He added that the Port Harcourt zonal office was working on a number of cases in partnership with the FBI, noting that it was peculiar for probe of crude oil theft and bunkering.
“The last eight months have been period of intensive and extensive investigations and prosecution of oil-related and several internet-connected cases in which the zone has recorded 149 convictions, made N268,934,375.75; $2,012,568.00 and E15,000.00 recoveries and have 162 cases in court,” Bawa stated. He added that the zone recovered six vessels, four tug boats, five barges, four wooden boats, two speed boats and 242 trucks during the period under review.
Also yesterday, the Abuja zonal office of the commission said it was investigating over 465 cases.Accordingly, it recovered N423,006,987.92; $39,253 and €2330 in same eight months.
The zonal head, Aminu Ado Aliyu, said collaborative operations with other zones had also resulted in 293 arrests.He added that 90 arrests were made mostly through intelligence gathering, 21 convictions secured by the cyber crime unit and 110 cases still under investigation.He said the commission had also recovered a large number of exotic cars and properties suspected to have been acquired through proceeds of crime, adding that the devices used by the suspects have been confiscated and the earnings forfeited after convictions had been secured.
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