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Cybercrime assumes frightening dimension in South East, EFCC raises alarm

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Ibrahim Ramalan
Ibrahim Ramalan is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria. With nearly a decade-long, active journalism practice, Mr Ramalan has been able to rise from a cub reporter to the exalted position of an editor; first as Arts Editor with the Blueprint Newspapers before resigning in 2019; second and presently as an Associate Editor of the Daily Nigerian online newspaper. He can be reached via [email protected], or www.facebook.com/ibrahim.ramalana, or @McRamalan on Twitter.
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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, says it is worried over the frightening dimension which cybercrime has assumed in the country, especially the South East.

The South East Zonal Head of the commission, Usman Imam, expressed the worry on Friday in Enugu while briefing newsmen on the activities of EFCC in the first quarter of 2019.

Imam said that cases of cybercrime, popularly called ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ had become alarming in the zone.

“From investigations so far made, it is unfortunate that some parents are not only aware of their children’s involvements but even abet such terrible crime.

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“What is very worrisome is that most of the perpetrators of this crime are either students of institutions of higher learning, graduates, youth corps members or secondary school students learning from their elders.

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“To think that these criminals are those who will in future take up the responsibility of leading this country must certainly send shivers down the spine of any right thinking Nigerian,” he said.

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The zonal head said that the commission had within the period under review seized some exotic cars from the suspected ‘Yahoo Yahoo boys’ being investigated.

He wondered how a student would own a car worth about N10 million, adding that the commission had been inundated with such matters.

Imam called on Nigerian youths to toe the path of honesty, adding that anybody convicted of cybercrime would live with such stigma for the rest of their lives.

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“I want to appeal to parents to take up their God-given responsibilities of monitoring their children or wards. In the South East, the case of internet or cybercrime is very alarming,” he said.

He said that the commission was currently investigating cases involving several Ponzi schemes portrayed as cooperative or empowerment schemes.

Imam said that such schemes which promised up to 60 per cent return on investment within seven days were milking the unsuspecting victims of millions of naira.

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He said that such schemes dealt in cash with returns made in either cash, or electrical appliances or even food items.

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He warned the public especially those in Aba, Abia, to beware of any transaction with the following organisations: Perfect Ladies, Unstoppable Ladies, Christian Ladies, Unlimited Ladies, Raising Lives and Ever Better Association.

Imam called on government to play its role in reducing the chances of youths getting involved in the menace.

The zonal head added that EFCC had sustained its fight against corruption which was yielding positive results.

“The current fight against corruption has not only gained traction but also succeeded due to the Federal Government’s resolve to tackle the menace headlong,” he said.

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NAN

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