Why Nigeria must pay greater attention to cybercrime: Magu •Banks’ security chiefs pledge support as EFCC nabs internet fraud suspects

Posted by News Express | 30 August 2019 | 565 times

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Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has said that Nigeria must pay greater attention to cybercrime because of its effect on the image and economic health of the nation. The EFCC boss spoke through DCDS Michael Wetkast, head of the Gombe office of the Commission at a media briefing cum town hall meeting in Gombe on Thursday. He observed that the involvement of unscrupulous Nigerians in cyber fraud was impacting negatively on the country’s image globally and undermining the quest for foreign direct investment.

“Every email sent from Nigeria is being screened before delivery, we are being denied visas to other countries,” Wetkast lamented.

He however expressed optimism that the commission’s ongoing collaboration with FBI and other international law enforcement agencies will be sustained as a major step towards addressing the menace of computer-based fraud.

Stakeholders in the town hall meeting commended the commission’s intervention, which has helped to reduce the incidences of fraud and malpractices in the implementation of the CBN Anchor Borrowers Scheme. The commission recently arrested a syndicate which specialises in adulterating fertilizer with sand and selling same to innocent farmers as genuine. The Zonal Head assured the gathering that those arrested will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.

Meanwhile, the Committee of Heads of Security of Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Lagos has expressed the readiness of her members to further support EFCC in its fight against corruption.

It pledged the support during a courtesy visit to the Lagos Zonal Office of the commission on Thursday. Chairman of the Committee, Col. Samuel Agbanusi (rtd.), who led the delegation, stated that members of the committee would do much more than it had done in the past to support the commission’s activities by responding promptly to any intervention required of them in the course of any investigative activities involving their banks.

According to him, “Members of this committee have good rapport when it comes to security matters despite the business rivalries between the banks. We are here to tell you that we are ready to further collaborate with you and foster more robust relationship with the commission.”

“Once we receive any letter informing us about any investigation activities, we will fast-track the process and assist you promptly,” he further stated.

In his response, the Lagos Zonal Head, Muhammed Rabo, who received the committee members on behalf of Acting Chairman Magu, expressed his appreciation for the visit and stated that it was necessary to strengthen the existing relationship between the commission and the banks.

He said: “The banks are very strategic to our operations and are critical stakeholder in the fight against corruption.

“We have been engaging regularly with the compliance officers of the banks and the relationship has been very cordial.

“Honestly, you have a role to play in our relationship with the banks. There are lots of issues that the bankers don’t understand, particularly security related matters.

“We have been having challenges with some banks in the area of delayed responses to our letters and the way they handle some of the information contained in the letters.

“Some bankers do not understand the imperative of keeping the information confidential.  They sometimes reveal classified information to customers perhaps for the obvious reasons of business relationship. Your role is also to guide and advise them in such instances.”

Rabo added: “The responses we get when we invite some bankers to come and give evidence in some bank-related matters do not come promptly most of the time.

“Therefore, your interventions in these areas are important to further strengthen our existing mutual relationship.”

In another development, two suspected internet fraudsters, Ochuko Okikifo, 24, and Kind ThankGod, 34, were on Wednesday arrested in Sapele, Delta State, by EFCC operatives, Benin Zonal Office.

The suspects were arrested in an early morning operation at their apartment in Sapele.

Different types of cell phones were recovered from the suspects at the point of arrest.

They have confessed to be involved in romance scam and are expected to be soon charged to court.

•Banks Security Committee Chairman Samuel Agbanusi presenting a plaque to EFCC Lagos Zonal Head Muhammed Rabo during the visit

Source: News Express

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