Lekki now hotbed of cyber crime as EFCC arrests 402 suspected internet fraudsters in three months

EFCC

Lekki, the fast-developing upper-middle-class area of Lagos Metropolis, is emerging as the new hub of internet-related fraud, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has said.

Investigation from the activities of the Lagos Command of the anti-graft agency for the second quarter of 2021, indicated that Lekki District is the preferred location for all manner of cyber fraud syndicates.

Between April and June 2021, the Advance Fee Fraud and Cyber Crime Sections of the Command have recorded a total of402 internet-related fraud arrests.

Data made available to journalists on Friday by EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, explained that while the Advance Fee Fraud Section was responsible for 243 arrests, the Cyber Crime Section of the commission executed 18 sting operations which resulted in 159 arrests, from which 13 convictions have so far been recorded.

The record showed that of the 159 suspects arrested by the Cyber Crime Section, 70 are from Lekki, comprising 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.

Uwujaren revealed that the suspects were mostly millennials, with 82 of them aged between 25-34 years.

“This indicated that most of the individuals arrested are either still in school, recent graduates or university dropouts”, he stated.

Analysis of the data from the Cyber Crime Section further shows that the dominant form of internet crime is Dating Scam/Online Dating Scam/Romance Scam.

64 per cent of individuals arrested are involved in romance scams, followed closely by “Middle Man Scam” and “Picking” which account for 8 per cent and 7 per cent respectively of those arrested.

According to Uwujaren, the 64 per cent involved in the dating scam benefitted to the tune of N8, 310,000; $349,290 USD; £ 900; €10 and Cryptocurrency 0.17513.

Other typologies of fraud identified include 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 reveals gift cards, at 39 per cent, as the prevalent method employed by the suspects to access their illicit funds.

It is closely followed by bank transfers at 27 per cent and Cryptocurrency at 21 per cent.

A total of $12, 512.49USD was recovered from the e-wallet accounts of four suspects within the period.

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