Posted by Sunday Isuwa | 28 August 2019 | 2,761 times
All the financial transactions of 80 Nigerians indicted for cybercrimes by the United States (US) government are to be reversed, the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has said.
Already, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which is jointly working with NFIU to bring the culprits to book, has arrested 28 suspects on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) internet fraud list and recovered $314,000 and about N373,000,000.
The NFIU said yesterday in Abuja that the raging crises in the North East and North West zones were being funded by the illicit financial inflow to foreign mercenaries.
To curb the trend, NFIU said that it was collaborating with the Nigeria Intelligence Agency (NIA), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the Nigeria Police Force to depot the officials of some civil society organisations (CSOs) involved in the proliferation of weapons through illicit financial inflow.
NFIU said that Chinese, Indian and other international companies engaged in illegal mining in Nigeria would be sanctioned to curb illicit financial inflow.
The anti-graft agency’s director-general (DG), Modibbo Haman Tukur, stated this at the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) 2019 Sub-regional Conference on Illicit Financial Flow and Assets Recovery in Abuja.
“The theme of the conference was “Increasing citizens’ participation in curbing the illicit flow and repatriation of stolen funds within and from West Africa.”
Tukur disclosed that the NFIU had commenced the repatriation of monies illegally transferred into the country by about 80 Nigerians charged before a California District Court for cybercrimes.
The FBI charged the accused for “conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, and aggravated identity theft” before the Californian court.
Some of the indicted persons still at large also got additional charges for other offences.
A document from the US court which LEADERSHIP accessed said that the 80 Nigerians were indicted for “conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud.”
It was gathered that the accused also engaged in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activities.
In the charges obtained by LEADERSHIP, the court said that the accused operated an unlicensed money transmitting business and destroyed property to prevent seizure.
Other charges against them included giving false statements, aggravated identity, aiding and abetting, and criminal forfeiture
The federal government, which also deplored the activities of the indicted Nigerians, has commenced the process of returning the illicit funds from Nigeria back to the US.
Nigeria currently has about 52,000 registered non-governmental organisations (NGOs) but the NFIU said it had discovered that most of them were being used for illicit financial transactions to fund terrorism.
NFIU said that it had collaborated with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to deregister companies and organisations indicted for illicit financial transaction.
Tukur remarked that with the high level of financial crimes taking place across the world, continental and regional cooperation was needed to tackle the menace.
He said: “The proposed West African single currency will create a massive economic environment but that won’t happened with illicit financial inflow which we must be ready to tackle.”
•Excerpted from a LEADERSHIP report.
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