EFCC arrests 402 Lekki cybercrime suspects in three months

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday tagged highbrow Lekki, Lagos the new hub of internet-related fraud, following the arrest 402 suspects in the area in the second quarter of this year alone.

Many of the suspects are aged between 25 and 34 and are either still in school, recent graduates or university dropouts.

A total of $12,512.49 USD was recovered from the e-wallet accounts of four of the suspects

Lekki, according to data from the investigation activities of the Lagos command of the commission, leads Ajah, Badore, Victoria Garden City, Sangotedo, Oniru, Ikoyi, Eko Atlantic, Ikorodu and Alagbado in cybercrime.

Wilson Uwujaren, Head, Media and Publicity of the EFCC, said in a statement that Lekki is now “the preferred location for all manner of cyber fraud syndicates.”

“Between April and June 2021, the Advance Fee Fraud and Cyber Crime Sections of the Command recorded a total of 402 internet-related fraud arrests.

“While the Advance Fee Fraud Section was responsible for 243 arrests, the Cyber Crime Section executed 18 sting operations which resulted in 159 arrests, from which 13 convictions have so far been recorded,” Uwujaren said.

He added: “Of the 159 suspects arrested by the Cyber Crime Section, 70 are from Lekki, comprising communities such as Ajah, Badore, Victoria Garden City, Sangotedo and Oniru.

“Ajah accounted for 24 suspects while Oniru and Sangotedo had 14 and 13 suspects respectively. Badore had 8 suspects. Neighbouring Ikoyi and Eko Atlantic had 2 and one suspects each. Ikorodu and Alagbado on the Lagos Mainland make up the remainder.

“The suspects are mostly millennials, with 82 of them aged between 25-34 years, which speaks to the fact that most of the individuals arrested are either still in school, recent graduates or university dropouts.”

Continuing, the EFCC spokesman said: “Analysis of the data from the Cyber Crime Section further shows that the dominant form of internet crime is Dating Scam/Online Dating Scam/Romance Scam.

“Sixty-four per cent (64%) of individuals arrested are involved in romance scam, followed closely by “Middle Man Scam” and “Picking” which account for 8% and 7% respectively of those arrested.

“The 64% involved in the dating scam benefitted to the tune of N8,310,000; $349,290 USD; £ 900; €10 and Cryptocurrency 0.17513.

“Other typologies of fraud identified include forgery, possession of fraudulent documents, spamming, credit card fraud, impersonation, rental scam, loan fraud, Business Email Compromise, Hacking, stealing, cheque scam, phishing, and money laundering.

“The data also reveals gift cards, at 39%, as the prevalent method employed by the suspects to access their illicit funds. It is followed by bank transfers at 27% and Cryptocurrency at 21%.”

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