EFCC repatriates N32.2b to ‘419’ victims in 10 years


EFCC-officialsThe Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) says it has in the past 10 years returned over $200 million (about N32.2 billion) to victims of Advance Fee fraud, popularly known as ‘419,’ including cyber crime between 2003 and June 2013.

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The commission’s Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, who made the revelation at the weekend, said the EFCC continues to vigorously pursue prosecution of such cases to correct the notion that Nigeria is a country that condones cybercrime.

Lamorde, who was guest speaker at the maiden edition of the Annual Conference of Brand Journalist Association of Nigeria (BJAN) in Abeokuta, Ogun State, said the commission has arraigned 678 cases in court, recording 286 convictions. Continuing, he said 17 cases were discharged, while there were five extradited to United States to face charges within the period under review.

Speaking on the topic: Cyber Crime and Management of Nigeria Image,” Lamorde, who was represented by the Head, Advance Fee Fraud at the commission’s Lagos Command, Chukol Abdulkarim, added that Nigeria was in 2005 rated as one of the most corrupt countries by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). This, he explained, was because many countries across Europe, America and Asia have fallen victim of cybercrimes, and saw Nigeria as a country where fraud is a source of national income.

However, he added, “through vigorous enforcement initiatives, we always project the image that we are not a country that condones cybercrime.”

He listed achievements of the commission in the fight against fraud to include the smashing of notorious Oluwole the hub of fake traveling documents, certificates and currencies by the commission. This, he noted, has forced the syndicate to shift to Somolu and Mushin also in Lagos which are now hot spot for fake documents.

On the increasing rate of cybercrimes, Lamorde who said  scammers keep developing new ways of fleecing their victims, revealed that they now clone and deface government and business websites to defraud their unsuspecting victims. He warned Nigerians against responding to e-mails from unknown sources or disclosing vital personal data to persons they do not trust.

He said the commission has created a Cybercrime Team at its Advance Fee Fraud Section to deal with the menace and urged the media to join in the campaign to project a positive image for the country.

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsolahttps://naija247news.com
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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