Saturday, 2 November 2019

Corruption Allegations :EFCC Chairman Dodges Questions On Tinubu

The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, refused to give an update on a petition it received against the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Magu, who was asked by journalists in Abuja to give an update on how far the Commission had gone with the petition, responded swiftly: “Do you want me to start discussing Tinubu’s petition here? No I can’t; next question!”

The convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, had submitted a petition to the EFCC penultimate Friday requesting it to investigate the source of money conveyed in bullion vans to the home of the APC stalwart on the eve of the 2019 presidential election.

Magu, however, went on to accuse medical doctors of issuing dubious medical reports to criminals who were facing trials, lamenting that the reports were truncating so many corruption cases.

He said the Commission was on the verge of clamping down on such doctors, adding that the Commission would also summon some lawyers to explain why corruption cases were dragging in court.

Magu said that Operation Rewired, which the Commission embarked on, has resulted in the seizure of nearly $2.4 million, and the disruption/recovery of approximately $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers.

He added: “Also worthy of mention is the Operation Triangle, which saw Italian police and EFCC working closely to dismantle a trans-national criminal group operating in all the five continents.

“EFCC in close cooperation with the Italian National Police as well as Spanish, Polish, English, Belgian, Georgian, Turkish and Cameroonian police, with the support of Europol and Interpol, and the coordination of Eurojust, carried out extensive investigations which resulted in the arrest of 62 individuals, seizure of 40,000 euros, 30 smart phones, 10 tablets and 15 personal computers.

“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.

“But more fundamental than these international collaborations is the sustained effort of the Commission to comprehensively tackle the menace of internet related frauds in Nigeria. I am happy to report that we are recording series of breakthroughs with almost daily arrests of suspected fraudsters across the country.”

Continuing, the EFCC boss revealed that in October alone, the Commission recorded over 200 arrests of internet fraud suspects in carefully coordinated operations across its 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. They were picked up in Abuja and Lagos respectively, through credible intelligence which flagged the suspects as kingpins of Organised Cyber Syndicate Network (OCSN).

“Five wristwatches valued at over N60 million were recovered from Mompha at the point of arrest. Investigation has also revealed that he operates 51 bank accounts in Nigeria with which he acquired properties in Dubai and had laundered about N14 billion through Ismalob Global Investments Limited. His accomplice, Koudeih, also has two firms namely, THK Services Limited and CHK Properties Limited with which he has allegedly laundered about N19 billion. Koudeih lives in a $5million per annum suite at the Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island Lagos,” he said.

According to him, “these arrests have further confirmed our commitment to the fight against corruption and economic crime and sent a clear message to high end fraudsters that they can only run but cannot hide. Sooner than later, we will get them.”

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