EFCC arrests 22 suspected internet fraudsters in Ogbomoso

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibadan Zonal Command, has arrested 22 suspected internet fraudsters in Ogbomoso area of Oyo State.

This is contained in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, and made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Ibadan.

Our correspondent reports that the agency arrested the 22 suspects on Tuesday in Ogbomoso.

Uwujaren said that they were apprehended during an operation at their hideout in Ogbomoso, based on intelligence on their alleged criminal activities.

He said that five cars, several mobile phones, laptops and other incriminating documents were recovered from them at the point of their arrest.

The agency’s spokesman said that 20 of the 22 suspects had been indicted after investigation.

Uwujaren said that the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations were concluded.

Public Complaint Commission urges EFCC to investigate ponzi schemes

The Public Complaint Commission (PCC) on Wednesday called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the activities of ponzi scheme operators in the country.

The Commissioner of PCC in Rivers, Dr Alphaeus Paul-Worika, made the call in a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the EFCC Head, Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren.

Paul-Worika was quoted as having made the request when he visited the EFCC Port Harcourt Zonal Commander, Aliyu Naibi on Tuesday.

According to him, the call became necessary due to the several complaints the PCC received from Nigerians, who were scammed by ponzi scheme operators in the country.

He said: “The issue of the ponzi scheme is a perennial problem in Nigeria and Rivers state in particular which EFCC should urgently save the situation.

“The EFCC should be more drastic in handling the operators as Nigerians are groaning under the yoke of fraudulent practices of ponzi scheme operators,” he said.

The commissioner said that the anti-graft agency has the capacity and manpower to tackle the menace head on as well as give justice to millions of Nigerians scammed by fraudsters.

“You can blame people for getting involved in the scheme but the truth is that many of the victims were deceived by the ponzi scheme operators.

“So, EFCC should help those getting involved by cracking down on the operators,” he appealed.

Paul-Worika sued for closer ties between the two Federal establishments and assured PCC’s continued reference of fraud-related cases to the anti-graft agency.

Responding, Naibi restated the commitment of the EFCC to finding practical solutions to tackling the menace of ponzi scheme operations in the country.

“The EFCC is taking the ponzi scheme very seriously, and as such, I can assure you that we are working frantically on it.

“Investigations are ongoing and the commission is always ahead in its operations,” he assured.

Our correspondent reports that one of such popular schemes, MBA Forex – which promised its investors 15 per cent Return on Investment monthly – had collected over N171 billion from its investors before crashing.

Another popular scheme, Baraza Multipurpose Cooperative Society headquartered in Yenagoa, Bayelsa, owned by one Miebi Bribena, a pastor, was reported recently to have scammed about 40,000 investors of their capital running into billions.

Baraza promised its investors 25 per cent profits of their capital monthly but it crashed in March after a few months of operation.

The EFCC after receiving several petitions from victims of Baraza shut down its headquarters in September.

EFCC arraigns 3 AIICO Capital personnel for alleged N1.4bn fraud

 Three staff members of AIICO Capital Ltd were on Thursday arraigned before an Ikeja Special Offences Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly defrauding their employer, an investment company, of N1.4 billion.
Our correspondent reports that the staff members: Harriet Onome, Olajumoke Akano and Olabode Ogunlere, were charged with four counts of conspiracy and stealing.
They however denied the charges.
According to the EFCC prosecutor, Miss Chinenye Okezie, the defendants had sometime in 2020 in Lagos committed the offences alongside one Olanrewaju Fabunmi who is now at large.
“Onome sometime between November and December 2020 converted to her own use the aggregate sum of N419.9 million.
“Akano, within the same period, dishonestly converted to her own use the aggregate sum of N167 million.
“Between October and November 2020, Ogunlere fraudulently converted the aggregate sum of N65 million to his personal use.
“The said sums are property of AIICO Capital Ltd,” she said.
According to the anti-graft agency, the offences contravene Sections 287(8) and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Following their arraignment, Mr Tayo Oyetibo (SAN), Onome’s defence counsel, and Mr Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), counsel for Akano and Ogunlere, applied for the defendants’ bail to be granted in liberal terms.
Okezie, however, opposed the bail applications.
According to her, Onome is a flight risk who has a two-year valid visa to the United Kingdom.
“If the court should consider granting the defendants bail it should be on stiff conditions that will ensure the defendants attendance in court,” she said.
Responding, Oyetibo told the court that Onome was not a flight risk because her international passport was with the EFCC and had applied that her international passport be deposited with the registrar of the court.
Olumide-Fusika in his submission said that Akano is a nursing mother and had never jumped the bail which was granted to her by the EFCC when she was being investigated.
He also noted that although Ogunlere was initially detained by the EFCC for five-days over the alleged fraud, he always honoured the anti-graft agency’s invitation after he was granted bail.
Delivering a ruling on the bail applications, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo granted each of the defendants N50million bail with two sureties in like sum.
“One of the sureties must be a land owner and the Registrar of Titles shall verify the location of the land.
“The other surety shall be a close relative who must be resident in Lagos. The identities of the sureties must be verified by the court,” she said.
The court adjourned the case until Oct. 12, for trial.