Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has placed 59 suspects on its Wanted List for various fraudulent activities amounting to about N435bn and $397,758,000 (about N165bn).
The offences range from money laundering to obtaining money by false pretence, fraud, internet-related offences and issuance of dud cheque.
The commission, in the notice signed by its Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, displayed the pictures of the wanted persons and the details of their alleged crimes on its website.
It called on anyone with useful information as to the whereabouts of the said persons to contact any of the commission’s offices or the nearest police station or other security agencies.
The single biggest crime on the list was that of one Maxwell, wanted by the EFCC in an alleged case of conspiracy, obtaining money by false pretence and money laundering to the tune of N213bn.
He ran a trading and capital company, in which many investors’ funds got trapped.
Meanwhile on his Facebook page, where he posed with different celebrities, several commenters, believed to have invested in his forex trading business, asked him to refund their money, while some cursed him.
One of the commenters, Madu Prince, wrote, “Oga, please, we are dying. Please pay us back our capital.”
Also, a former personal assistant to a former governor of Kwara State, was said to have signed for and laundered about N12bn belonging to the state government. The suspect was said to have jumped bail granted to him by the commission and had remained incommunicado.
A Nigerien, identified as Hima, was declared wanted by the commission over alleged criminal conspiracy, contract scam, misappropriation of public funds, money laundering and fraud to the tune of $394m, €9.9m and N369m.
He was alleged to have received the sum for the purchase of equipment for the Nigerian military. It was later discovered that there were discrepancies in the supply of the equipment.
Similarly, four Rivers State Government officials, comprising three men and one woman, were declared wanted by the commission over suspected N117bn fraud, alleged criminal conspiracy, money laundering, and misappropriation of public funds and abuse of office.
Also, a native of Plateau State, identified as Noel, was declared wanted in a case bordering on conspiracy, theft and money laundering to the tune of N131m. He was said to be a former staff of First City Monument Bank in Birni Kebbi, Kebbi State.
Similarly, a 27-year-old Yusuf, who hails from Ibeju Lekki in Lagos State, was declared wanted over alleged conspiracy and business email compromise to the tune of $2.2m, while one Sewanu, also from Lagos, was declared wanted for alleged false pretence, names-dropping and fraud to the tune of N32m.
A certain Oluwole is on the list for allegedly receiving fraudulently imported apples worth $158,000 from a South African company. He was said to have refused to remit the payment for products.
In a related development, a female banker from Ondo State allegedly forged a customer’s documents and fraudulently obtained N27m loan facility using the customer’s fixed deposit as collateral for the loan. Also, another female banker from Ogun State allegedly forged treasury bills certificate worth N27m and gave them to a customer in exchange for the money.
An Israeli, identified as Doron, was also declared wanted for obtaining money under false pretence, stealing and forgery. A woman is also on the list for collecting aircraft parts worth $1.4m from a Russian company and evading payment. She was said to have been involved in another N1bn fraud.
Some of the cases are already in court while some jumped the administrative bail granted to them by the EFCC.
Meanwhile, in the March edition of EFCC Alert, the monthly e-magazine published by the Media Unit of the commission, obtained by our correspondent, the chairman of the commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, said the commission was not being teleguided by anyone.
He noted that the EFCC was deploying intelligence in its operations, and that all its cases were bailable offences.
He described as worrying the prevalence of cybercrime among the youths.
“I think it is a huge problem that Nigerians should understand and come to terms with; that we need to do something about it. We need to work together,” he added.