The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, on Thursday, said it had arrested 48 persons for involvement in Internet fraud and other financial crimes from January this year to date.
It stated that out of the number, 13 were facing prosecution, while three had already been convicted.
The Head of Operations, Makurdi Zonal Office, EFCC, Johnson Babalola, revealed these at a news conference in the state capital.
He explained that the commission had embarked on an intensive manhunt for Internet fraudsters, adding that it was collaborating with the United States of America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation and Interpol to rid the country of financial crimes.
According to him, the anti-graft agency is also engaged in multi-sectoral advocacy with the National Youth Service Corps, the police, civil society organisations and at market places, noting that the collaboration was already yielding results.
Babalola stated, “It is a matter of common knowledge that Nigeria has been in the news of recent. We are also aware that the FBI’s list of fraudsters is under investigation and the substantial majority of those on the list are Nigerians, and because of the strategic partnership and professional collaboration that we have with the FBI, we interface and the issues are being taken care of.
“Even before the emergence of that list, we are all aware that the commission as a whole has embarked on intensive manhunt for internet fraudsters called ‘Yahoo-Yahoo boys’. During the period under review, we embarked on an intensive investigation, which led to the arrest of 48 suspects; 13 of these suspects are being prosecuted and we have secured the conviction of three.
“We are all aware that the activities of these fraudsters are capable of eroding the credibility of Nigeria and Nigerians, and they are busy causing problems for the integrity of our businessmen abroad.
“Recently, our chairman was one of the critical stakeholders that met with Interpol in Abuja; it was an Interpol arrangement. Apart from the FBI, we still collaborate with Interpol to rid this country of economic and financial crimes.”