Nigeria: EFCC Arrests Suspect Who 'Assisted' Nigerian Cyber-Crime Syndicate in U.S.

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, said it had arrested a 'cyberfraud kingpin' in Ekiti State, who is suspected to have acted as a conduit for funds stolen by the recently arrested Nigerian fraudsters in the U.S.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the United States Department of Justice announced that 80 defendants, most of whom are Nigerians had been charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft.

A number of the defendants are also facing substantive fraud and money laundering charges.

The Head of the Ibadan Zonal office of the commission, Friday Ebelo, made the latest disclosure at a press briefing on Wednesday.

He explained that the suspect, Ajayi Festus, was arrested in Ado-Ekiti following an alleged illicit transaction through his Nigerian bank amounting to N223 million.

"You will recall the shock and embarrassment we all suffered as a people when the news about the indictment of 80 Nigerians in massive cybercrime cases investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the United State was broken last week.

"We were able to establish a number of illicit transactions through his (suspect's) Nigerian bank account amounting to over N223 million. Ajayi serves as conduit pipe through which proceeds of crimes reach members of the syndicate. His cuts in the deals total over N75 million.

"The suspect is still helping the commission in its further investigations. He surely will have his days in court as soon as investigations are concluded and the matter is ripe for prosecution," he said.

The official said the commission is assisting the U.S. authorities in unravelling the syndicate.

"The zone is unrelenting on the mandate of the commission to combat all forms of economic and financial crimes, and the effort is yielding result, our longstanding collaborative engagement with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies remains intact and yielding mutual benefits."

The official also said the commission's Ibadan zone, which covers the South-west states except for Lagos, had arrested over 263 suspects for cybercrime-related offences

He said 111 of these have been convicted and sentenced to various jail terms.

He also said the zone has recovered huge sums of money in local and foreign currencies.

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