By Vincent IFEOMA
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has declared Lekki, a fast-developing, upper-middle-class area in Lagos State, the hotbed of cybercriminals in Nigeria.
This was contained in a statement issued by EFCC Spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren on Friday.
Uwujaren noted that investigative data from the EFCC branch in Lagos for the second quarter of 2021 indicated that Lekki District was the preferred location for all manner of cyber fraud syndicates.
According to the statement, 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, resulting in 159 arrests, from which 13 convictions had been recorded.
Out of the 159 suspects arrested by the cybercrime Section, 70 were from Lekki, including 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 suspect each. Ikorodu and Alagbado on the Lagos Mainland make up the remainder,” it said.
“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.”
An analysis of the cybercrime section data showed that the dominant form of internet crime was dating scams, accounting for 64 per cent. It followed closely by what the EFCC referred to as ‘Middle Man Scam’ and ‘Picking,’ which accounted for 8 per cent and 7 per cent, respectively.
A breakdown of monies recovered from the 64 per cent involving dating scams showed N8.3 million; $349,290; £ 900; €10 and about 0.17513 in Bitcoin.
Other typologies of fraud identified included: 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 revealed gift cards, at 39 per cent, as the prevalent method employed by the suspects to access illicit funds, while bank transfers followed at 27 per cent and cryptocurrency at 21 per cent.
The commission said it recovered a total sum of $12, 512.4 from the e-wallet accounts of four suspects within the period.
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