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EFCC arrested 402 suspects in 3 months in Lagos – Uwujaren

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Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says it arrested 402 suspects in Lagos between April and June over their alleged involvement in internet-related fraud.

Head of Media and Publicity of the commission, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed this in a statement issued on Friday in Lagos.

Uwujaren said that most of the suspects were arrested in Lekki area of the state, which he described as an emerging new hub of internet-related fraud.

He said that data from the investigation by Lagos command of the commission for the second quarter of 2021 indicated that Lekki District had become the preferred location for all manner of cyber fraud syndicates.

“Between April and June, the Advance Fee Fraud and Cyber Crime Sections of the command recorded a total of 402 internet-related fraud arrests, while the Advance Fee Fraud Section was responsible for 243 arrests.

“The Cyber Crime Section executed 18 sting operations which resulted in 159 arrests, from which 13 convictions have so far been recorded.

“From the 159 suspects arrested by the Cyber Crime Section, 70 are from Lekki, comprising communities such as Ajah, Badore, Victoria Garden City, Sangotedo and Oniru,” he stated.

Uwujaren further said that Ajah accounted for 24 suspects, while Oniru and Sangotedo had 14 and 13 suspects respectively.

He said that Badore had eight suspects, while neighbouring Eko Atlantic and Ikoyi having one and two each, with Ikorodu and Alagbado on the Lagos Mainland making up the remainder.

“The suspects are mostly millennial, with 82 of them aged between 25 and 34, which speaks to the fact that most of the individuals arrested are either still in school, recent graduates or university dropouts.

“Analysis of the data from the cyber crime section further shows that the dominant form of internet crime is dating scam/online dating scam/romance scam.

“Sixty-four per cent of individuals arrested are involved in romance scam, followed closely by ‘middle man scam’ and ‘picking’ which account for eight per cent and seven per cent respectively of those arrested,” he explained.

Uwujaren pointed out that 64 per cent of the suspects allegedly involved in the dating scam benefitted to the tune of $349,290, £900; €10 and Cryptocurrency 0.17513 (about N8.3 million).

He also identified other typologies of fraud as: forgery, possession of fraudulent documents, spamming, credit card fraud, impersonation, rental scam, loan fraud, business email compromise, hacking, stealing, cheque scam, phishing and money laundering.

The EFCC spokesman said that a total of $12, 512.49 USD (about N6.8 million) was recovered from the e-wallet accounts of four suspects within the period.

Moses Omorogieva

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