The South-east Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Wednesday, May 1, 2019 arrested 37 suspected internet fraudsters in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The arrest followed a raid on some targeted residences in Okwu Urata, Aladinma and Egbu areas. The Commission’s action followed intelligence report which pointed that the suspects were living lavish lifestyles without any known means of livelihood, alleging further that they specialize in defrauding unsuspecting victims, through the internet.
In the course of executing the search warrants, items which included laptop computers, 25 five exotic cars, which include several brands of Mercedez-Benz, Lexus, Toyota and expensive mobile phones, were recovered.
Speaking on the development, the Zonal Head, Usman Imam, who said the exercise was in line with the Commission’s mandate decried the high rate of cybercrime in the zone which he blamed on the erosion and breakdown of country’s values.
“It is true that no society has been able to totally eradicate crime, but we are ready at least to reduce it to the barest minimum and it appears that this cybercrime is one of the challenges of our time, which the EFCC is willing to face drastically,” Imam said.
Questioning the lifestyle of the suspects, Iman said: “What is the business of a university student, a new graduate or youth corper looking for money to buy a car of N10 million? Obviously, this is rushing life and a collapse of our positive value system where people rarely want to start from a humble beginning.”
Usman lamented that if nothing was done, the country’s leadership could be jeopardized as many youths involved in cybercrimes are expected to take up leadership positions in the future.
The suspects who volunteered their statements under caution will be charged to court as soon investigations into the matter are concluded.