The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday in Enugu paraded 13 suspected internet fraudsters popularly called ‘yahoo yahoo boys’.
The South East Zonal Head of the commission, Mr Usma Iman said that the suspects were arrested following intelligence between Jan. 17 and Jan. 31, 2019 in Awka, Anambra and Enugu States.
Imam said that the arrests were as a result of the commission’s avowed and renewed commitment to stamp out cyber crime in the country.
He said that officers of the commission on Jan. 17 raided the homes of suspected cyber criminals in Awka and arrested three suspects.
The zonal head said that similar exercise was carried out in Enugu on Jan. 30 and Jan. 31 during which six and four suspects were arrested respectively.
“We are convinced after our investigations that the suspects have cases to answer. They shall be charged to court next week,” he said.
Imam said that the image of the country had been battered due to activities of cyber criminals.
“Nigerians are now treated as criminals by other countries due to activities of few individuals in our midst and the EFCC is determined to stamp it out,” he said.
He said that incriminating items were recovered from the suspects.
“At the beginning of investigations the suspects denied committing the crime but when we started analysing their mobile phones and laptops we established the offenses.
“We extracted mails and WhatsApp chats with their victims,” Imam said.
Meanwhile, one of the suspects, Obi Anikwe denied being a cyber fraudster.
Anikwe, who is a graduate, said that he was arrested in Awka by officers of the commission.
“We were sleeping in our room when someone told us that officers from the EFCC were in our compound. They searched my room and carried us to this place,” he said.
Anikwe, who claimed to be a professional photographer, said that his laptop, phone and camera were seized.
NAN reports that items recovered from the suspects include nine exotic cars, laptops, phones, printers and five unattached plate numbers which they used in their operations.
One of the vehicles has a police number plate: PF1974SPY while another has a number plate of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS): PRESIDENCY NANS-08 EN.
Another car has the number plate of one of the local government areas in Anambra.
All the suspects are below 33 years. (NAN)