The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has disclosed that the collaborative operations between the Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, tagged “Operation Rewired” have led to the recovery of the sums of $169,850 (One Hundred and Sixty-nine Thousand, Eight Hundred and Fifty US Dollars) as well as the sum of N92, 000,000.00 (Ninety-two Million Naira) from suspected perpetrators of computer-related frauds. Magu said the operations had resulted in the arrest of 167 Nigerians for alleged computer-related frauds and recovery of four exotic cars, plots of land in choice areas in Lagos and a property in Abuja.
Speaking at a joint FBI/EFCC media briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, September 10, 2019, Magu, who spoke through Mohammed Umar Abba, Director of Operations, EFCC, said: “Being an international model operation targeted at the varied forms of computer-related frauds, the EFCC/FBI collaborative operations spanning three weeks was designed to intercept and interrupt the global network of the internet fraudsters.
However, before now, as you are all aware, we had relentlessly launched intensive investigative actions against the infamous Yahoo Yahoo boys culminating into various strategic raids, onslaught on criminals’ hideouts, prosecutions and convictions. I am happy to inform you that our efforts in coordinating the EFCC/FBI joint operations in Nigeria recorded tremendous successes leading to a number of arrests, seizures and recoveries. The suspected fraudsters arrested in the course of this operation will be persecuted accordingly.
Also speaking, Uche Ahamdi, Legal Attache, FBI office in Nigeria, said the Agency received 20,373 Business Email Compromise and Email Account Compromise (BEC/EAC) complaints with losses of more than $1.2 billion.
According to him, “In a coordinated effort to dismantle international fraudulent BEC transactions and pursue bad actors and organized criminal enterprises, including money mules, that engage in BEC and fraud schemes that target and harm American businesses, the FBI and law enforcement partners in the U.S. and abroad implemented a strategy to target and disrupt these scammers and illicit actors. He also disclosed that more than 37 FBI field offices and U.S. Attorney’s Offices participated in law enforcement activity, including executing arrests, search warrants, interviews, and serving money mule warning letters. The goal of this operation is to send a message to all who participate in the BEC scheme that they will be caught and prosecuted, regardless of where they are located.