The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), has disclosed that wire fraudsters sponsored politicians in the last general election. The agency also said that it has secured a total of 149 convictions on cyber crime and oil theft-related offences in Port Harcourt zone since 2019.
The anti-graft agency also disclosed that over N268 million over two million (USD) among other currencies have been recovered in the area within the period.
The Head, Port Harcourt Zonal operation of the federal government agency, Abdulrasheed Bawa stated these while speaking on the commission’s collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), in the fight against cyber crime in Port Harcourt, Tuesday.
Bawa said, “The last eight months have been months of intensive and extensive investigations and prosecution of oil related and several internet-related cases in which the zone has recorded 149 convictions, made N268,934,375.75. $2,012,568.00 and E15,000.00, recoveries and have 162 cases in court.”
He hinted that some serving politicians will have case to answer on their connection with some cyber criminals in the zone when the time is right.
The Head operations stated that joint investigations with FBI revealed complicity of some serving political leaders with some internet criminals in the last general elections, saying that some suspected cyber criminals funded the election of some of them.
Bawa notes that 103 persons suspected to be cyber criminal have been arrested by the commission from overseas and that they are helping them in their investigations.
“We are aware about the Economic; social and cultural negative consequences of these crimes. It tarnishes our image, nationally and internationally, our youths are dropping out of school, they are killing genuine businesses and recent findings indicate that they are sponsoring politicians into elective offices.
“The Port Harcourt’s Zonal Office of EFCC is working seriously on 13 different cases of cyber crimes in collaboration with the FBI.
“Our solo efforts as a zone on cyber-crime related cases indicate 105 arrests made, 32 convictions secured, 41 cases under prosecution and additional 63 cases under investigation.” he said.
On the issues of oil theft and illegal dealing in petroleum products, Bawa disclosed that it has secured conviction of 149 oil thieves within eight months.
He said: “Generally, the Port Harcourt’s Zonal office is peculiar on the investigation of crude oil theft and illegal dealings in oil-related products.
He further disclosed that the zone recovered six vessels, four tug boats, five barges, four wooden boats, 2 speed boat, 242 trucks within the period under review.