Magu makes revelations as EFCC, FBI announces recoveries from ‘Yahoo boys’

The acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, says partnership with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, tagged “Operation Rewired” hash led to the recovery of the sums of $169,850 and N92, 000,000.00.

Magu, who spoke at a joint FBI/EFCC media briefing in Lagos on Tuesday, through Mohammed Umar Abba, Director of Operations, EFCC, said 167 persons had been arrested.

He 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.

“It is instructive to note that, from August 12, 2019 to date, the Operation Rewired coordinated by the EFCC in Nigeria as an impetus to our sustained operations on perpetrators of various computer-related frauds have resulted in the arrest 167 Nigerians for alleged computer-related frauds.

“The EFCC will continue to partner with the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies, especially in the area of exchange of information and actionable intelligence towards bringing to the barest minimum the menace of cybercrimes and other computer-based frauds in the country.”

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.

“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.

“The sweep ran from May to September 2019, with an uptake of focused law enforcement activity during a four week period, primarily in the U.S., Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, France, Italy, UK, Japan, Kenya and Malaysia.

“The FBI-led operation involved multiple U.S. law enforcement partners, including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), US Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

“The operation benefited greatly from the work of our law enforcement partners around the world,”he said. 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.”

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