Cybercrime: EFCC Arrests 402 Suspects Within 3 Months

No fewer than 402 suspects of internet fraud syndicates have been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) at Lekki, Lagos between April and June.

The anti-graft agency, in a statement by its spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, in Abuja Friday lamented that the highbrow area had become a hotbed of cybercrime.

Uwujaren explained that data from the investigation activities of the Lagos command of the commission for the second quarter of 2021 indicated that Lekki was the preferred location for all manner of cyber fraud syndicates.

He said while the Advance Fee Fraud Section of the commission was responsible for 243 arrests, the Cyber Crime Unit executed 18 sting operations which resulted in 159 arrests, from which 13 convictions have so far been recorded.

He noted that 70 of the 159 suspects arrested by the Cyber Crime Section were from Lekki, comprising of Ajah, Badore, Victoria Garden City, Sangotedo and Oniru communities.

The statement noted, “Ajah accounted for 24 suspects while Oniru and Sangotedo had 14 and 13 respectively. Badore had 8 suspects. Neighbouring Ikoyi and Eko Atlantic had two and one suspects respectively. Ikorodu and Alagbado on the Lagos Mainland make up the remainder.”

He said 82 of the suspects were between 25 and 34 years, indicating that they were either still in school, recent graduates or university dropouts.

The statement added, “Analysis of the data from the Cyber Crime Section further shows that the dominant form of internet crime is dating/romance.

“Sixty-four per cent of individuals arrested are involved in romance scam, followed closely by “Middle Man Scam” and “Picking” which account for 8 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, of those arrested.

“The 64 per cent involved in the dating scam benefitted to the tune of N8, 310,000, $349,290, £ 900, €10 and crypto currency 0.17513.

“Other typologies of fraud identified include forgery, possession of fraudulent documents, spamming, credit card fraud, impersonation, rental scam, loan fraud, business e-mail compromise, hacking, stealing, cheque scam, phishing and money laundering.

“The data also reveals gift cards at 39 per cent as the prevalent method employed by the suspects to access their illicit funds. It is followed by bank transfers at 27 per cent and crypto-currency at 21 per cent.

“A total of $12, 512.49USD was recovered from the e-wallet accounts of four suspects within the period.”

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