EFCC: we recovered N6b, $261m, houses in 100 days

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has, in the last 100 days, recovered $261 million, N6 billion, and 13,000 pounds illegally acquired by suspected criminals.


Also recovered by the anti-graft agency were 30 real estates, 32 automobiles, a farmland and other properties acquired by suspected fraudsters.


The commission said it was set to prosecute 800 cybercrime cases in various courts beginning from next week.


The agency also said it will proceed with corruption cases against former governors, ministers and ex-bank chiefs.


EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa, gave these details during the Presidential Media Team ministerial briefing at Aso Villa in Abuja yesterday.


He said 800 cybercrime cases would be filed next week in courts.


He added that the fraud trial of former Abia State Governor Orji Uzor Kalu would recommence.  The Supreme Court ordered the retrial of the Senate Chief Whip in May last year.


Bawa  explained that $100 million out of the $261million was recovered from Integrated Logistics Services (INTELS).


The $100m, according to him, is part of outstanding remittances that INTELS owed the country in handling logistics at Nigerian ports.


Bawa said: “I have a full breakdown of all funds recovered by the commission from its activities. This is in line with the accountability process of proceeds of funds recovered as a result of financial crimes.


“From the time I took over, we have recovered over N6 billion, over $161 million, over £13,000, €1,730, 200 Canadian dollars, CFA 373,000 and ¥8,430.


“Just a couple of some weeks back, I think leading up to last week or thereabout, we recovered over $100 million for the NPA, but the monies were paid directly into the account of the   Ports authority.


“We have recovered 30 real estates, one carpet, 13 electronics, one farmland, a  factory, motorcycles, land, a filling station, and about 32 automobiles.


The EFCC boss, who also said the unceremonious exit of his predecessors were  clear examples of “corruption fighting back”, added that 1,502 internet fraudsters were arrested in the past five and half months.


He said the commission “is  building a tactical centre that will solely deal on this issue of cybercrime.”


He said: “The rising increase of internet fraud is a huge problem. From January to the 10th of June 2021, we arrested 1,502 internet fraudsters across the country. Last  Monday that the court resumed, we attempted to file close to about 800 cases of internet fraud.


“We are working with states government that we have identified to be more vulnerable to this. It is something parents, elders, institutions should be talking to one another, it is tarnishing the image of this country. They are doing it on a daily basis, they see it as another way of getting another income which is worrisome to us.


“A chunk of those doing this are young boys of between 25 and 34, in their active live”.


Bawa also outlined plans to go after car, jewelery dealers, and real estate developers, who may be serving as conduits for money laundering.


He said that “all the known politically-exposed cases   in  courts  are vigorously and intelligently going to be sustained” by the anti-graft commission which, according to him, will ensure a retrial of the Senate Chief Whip.


Bawa added: “We have prosecuted a number of people within this period, secured 185 convictions and you are aware that for two months, the courts have been on strike, we have filed 367 cases.


“Yesterday (Wednesday),   we succeeded in securing the conviction of an ex-bank chief, Francis Atuche.


“We are determined to continue to prosecute no matter how long it takes and no matter the number of resources that are involved.


“The cases of  former Governors Ibrahim Shema, Adebayo Alao-Akala, Ikedi Ohakim, Muazu Babagida Aliyu and former Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Olusola Amosu are going on. Orji Uzor Kalu, we are going to prosecute him again all over after 12 years.


“Others are cases involving Olajide Omokore (an oil magnate), former Managing Director of the defunct  Intercontinental Bank, Erasmus Akingbola; ex- Group Managing Director of the  NNPC(Nigerian National Petroluem Corporation), Andrew Yakubu; ex-judge Rita Ofili-Afumogobia, ex-Executive Director of NHIS (National Health Insurance Scheme), Femi Thomas and a former Secretary of the Government of the Federation(SGF), Babachir Lawal.


He also explained that he was not referring to a serving minister in his narration on Tuesday of how a minister purchased a $37 million property through a bank chief.


Bawa said that the buyer is a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke.

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