N223m found in bank account of Ekiti internet fraud kingpin

Illustration only: Suspected internet fraudsters arrested in Lagos

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said it has traced N223million in illicit transactions in the bank account of the arrested Ekiti-based internet fraud kingpin, Ajayi Gbenga Festus.

The Ibadan Zonal Head of the anti-graft agency, Mr Friday Ebelo made the disclosure on Wednesday during a press conference at its Iyaganku, Ibadan zonal office

He said Festus was working in cahoot with other cybercriminals abroad, in what Ebelo described as highly sophisticated web of a conspiracy designed to illegally access accounts of individuals and organisations to defraud them of their money.

He said illicit transactions made through Festus’ Nigerian bank accounts amounted to N223million, noting that the suspect served as a conduit pipe through which proceeds of crime reached members of the syndicate.

The kingpin Ajayi Gbenga Festus, he added, had pocketed up to N75 million in the last eight months from the transactions.

Some of the vehicles recovered from fraudsters

Ebelo used the opportunity of the press briefing to advises the 80 Nigerians indicted by the FBI in massive cybercrime cases to come out of their hiding and clear their names before EFCC operatives get to them.

He said its operatives will arrest those within Nigeria, adding that the operatives have begun a background check on the suspects.

Ebelo said since the beginning of the year, the Ibadan Zonal office of EFCC arrested 263 suspects for cybercrime related offences out of which 111 had been convicted and sentenced to various jail terms.

The zone also recovered money, including landed properties, vehicles, laptops, phones and many others from the scammers.

Ebelo put the recovered monies at N7,461,378, US$56,452; 400 Canadian Dollars, 65 Pounds and 2,400 Euros, noting that the EFCC is in constant collaboration with international organisations with a similar mandate, especially the FBI in efforts to curb internet crimes and illicit funds transfer.

On Tuesday, the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu also disclosed that the collaboration between the Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, has led to the recovery by the Lagos office of $314,000 and about N373 million from internet scammers.

“Nine of the suspects are currently undergoing trial, while five are still under investigations.

“Over 80 cases are still under investigation from the EFCC-FBI joint operations,” Magu said.

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  • It's good that EFCC is doing this with FBI. But what about the government officials that stole government money to US and Europe...what's the difference between the two thieves? If the Nigeria government can ask FBI to help in bringing them to book what's the point in arresting mosquito when elephant dey there.

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    • Arresting these so called cyber crime professionals shouldn't be seen as if Nigeria and the government of the day is now working. They're all involved in this frauds, a country where monkeys and snakes are into carrying money in dollars belonging to certain states and nothing happened to those in question and people carrying bullion vans spreading money on election day and nothing happened to the person involved, no questioning and no query...what else cannot happen here? Don't get people confused with your fraudulent ways of doing as if you're working to move the country forward pattern by getting the so called cyber criminals arrested and allowing politicians who are the root causes of these crimes to go away with their loots and you want us to believe or think that you are working to make the country a better place, no..it's not done this way we won't accept it and not that I'm supporting those who are involved into defrauding people. No, but things should be done rightly so as to make people to believe that you're truly a God sent as they saw you in the beginning!!!

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    • Well stated question, you are very correct, my dear. If actually Nigeria wants to work now, what stops her tracking down those who caused the escalation of this so called cybercrime. The politicians who're the major problems, the root causes of criminal behaviour or acts in this beautiful country should also be paraded in this same way these boys are being paraded!

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  • i think you people should just be ashamed of yourself who are defending these scammers . it can only imply that you are partners in businss

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  • The money is reparation for the unlawful abduction of our parents by the whites during the slave trade. IT should not be classified as internet frauds but REPARATION MONIES. This is payback period, it is legal.

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    • Shut up and get yourselves engaged in meaningful and legitimate work, one day you will give account to God and if you're caught by the long arms of the law, you will give account to man. Period

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  • One thing I don't understand is pm news that is reporting on this fraud news.is still the same dailies publishing scam adverts on how to make $147 million dollars online. Isn't that fraud of itself.........smh

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