EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu said his agency has been able to track down most of the cyber-criminals declared wanted by the FBI in August.
Magu said this today at a meeting with stakeholders as his commission revved up the battle against internet fraudsters and money launderers.
“Some of the Nigerians mentioned in the infamous FBI list of cyber fraudsters have been tracked, arrested and are being prosecuted in courts across the country by the Commission”, he said.
“In October alone the Commission recorded over 200 arrests of suspected Internet fraud suspects in carefully coordinated operations across our offices. However the major talking point for us, was the recent arrest of celebrated social media personality and alleged internet fraudster, Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha and his Lebanese accomplice, Hamza Koudeih.”
Magu said the joint operation between his agency and FBI codenamed Operation Rewired yielded a lot of dividends.
“The exercise was meant to dismantle the network of organised criminal gang that specialize in Business Email Compromise schemes, designed to intercept and hijack wire transfers from businesses and individuals.
“The operation resulted in the seizure of nearly $2.4 million, and the disruption and recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers”.
He also mentioned Operation Triangle, which saw Italian police and EFCC working closely to dismantle a trans-national criminal group operating in all the five continents.
The Acting Chairman of the EFCC, Ibrahim Magu, has described the recent arrest of an internet fraudster, Ismaila Mustapha, also known as Mompha and his Lebanese accomplice, Hamza Koudeih, as a landmark achievement in the sustained fight against internet-related frauds and money laundering in the country.
Magu said the arrest of Mompha and Hamza by operatives of the EFCC, bore testimony to the commitment of the Commission to the fight against internet-related frauds,.
He added that “it is also a red alert to potential internet fraudsters.”
Speaking during an interactive session with stakeholders at the Lagos Zonal office of the Commission on Thursday, Magu said actionable intelligence received from local and international law enforcement agencies had revealed that the suspects, alongside their collaborators, were high-valued targets in Organized Cyber Syndicate Network, OCSN.
According to him, “the recent arrests of a social media celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha, popularly known as Mompha, and his Lebanese collaborator, Hamza Koudeih, for their alleged involvement in internet-related fraud and money laundering remain a landmark achievement of the EFCC.
“I make bold to tell you that these arrests have further confirmed our commitment to the anti-graft war, while also sending a red alert to potential internet fraudsters.
“I am sure you will be greatly shocked to know that five wristwatches valued at over N60million were recovered from the suspected internet fraudster, Mompha, at the point of arrest.
“Investigation has also revealed that he operates 51 bank accounts in Nigeria with which he acquires properties in Dubai and had laundered about N14billion through a firm known as Ismalob Global Investments Limited.