A joint operation by the Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, has led to the arrest of a female suspected cyber fraudster to whom 185 Bitcoin with a market value of N656,371,490 had been traced. Disclosing this to newsmen Monday in Benin, Muhtar Bello, zonal head of the EFCC, said the suspect worked in league with her foreign counterparts in darkweb. Explaining the modus operandi of the suspect, Bello said she was involved in obtaining/stealing people’s identification information which she forwarded to her American collaborator.
“Her collaborator uses it to file for fraudulent tax return with the Internal Revenue Service. She receives her cut through Bitcoin. About 185 Bitcoins which by current market value is N656,371,490, (Six hundred and fifty-six million, three hundred and seventy-one thousand, four hundred and ninety naira) has been traced to her”, Bello told journalists.
Also in the EFCC net are three suspected cybercriminals, two of them siblings who were engaged in business email compromise, BEC. The suspects who were independently nabbed by the anti-graft agency’s zonal office, specialized in searching for victims’ email addresses, especially official business email addresses, create a phishing link and compromising the process in order to defraud unsuspecting victims.
Bello who stated that the trio would soon be arraigned also briefed journalists of the successes the Benin Zonal office had recorded in its efforts to rid the society of economic and financial crimes, and in particular, checkmate the activities of internet fraudsters especially yahoo boys, and cybercrimes. He said as part of its strategic plans, the zonal office had from January to date, through intelligence, raided the hideouts of internet fraudsters in its area of jurisdiction comprising Edo, Delta, and Ondo states and arrested 113 internet fraudsters. He said the Commission had secured 53 convictions in the period under review while the prosecution of many cases was ongoing. Journalists were shown about 38 exotic cars and SUVs recovered from the suspected fraudsters, as well as other items like laptops, computers, mobile phones, flash drives, internet modems, and even charms.
Bello said the Commission was resolute in exterminating cybercrime and bring to book all those involved in the despicable activity. While calling on all patriotic Nigerians to support the agency through information, he charged the citizenry to expose people who, without any identifiable source of livelihood, continue to live large on other people’s sweat. Bello also advised the general public to be vigilant and circumspect so that they do not fall victim of “these misguided elements”.