EFCC convicts 60 as Internet fraud cases soar in Rivers

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has secured the conviction of about 60 persons standing trial for financial offences in Rivers State within the year.

The anti-graft agency also noted that from its records, internet fraud was top of the convictions and criminal cases it is investigating, urging the public to provide it with useful information to aid its operation.

The Commission made this disclosure during an Anti-Corruption walk in Port Harcourt organized by the Port Harcourt Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission in conjunction with Civil Society Organisations and Sister security agencies and Relief International Africa to mark the 2024 African Union Anti-Corruption Day, tagged, ‘Effective WhistleBlower Protection Mechanism, A Critical Tool in the fight against Corruption’.

The Acting Zonal Director of EFCC, Port Harcourt Zonal Directorate, Adebayo Adeniyi, said oil theft is one of the crimes that makes corruption fighting in the state peculiar, noting that criminality is high in the state.

“I have been here for over three months. I came in from Abuja and I noticed that the kind of criminal offences that happen here are quite different because the terrain is different. Here you see bunkering and all of that, we don’t see those kinds of things in Abuja.

“The offence and criminal acts are different here. In that case you might have a bit of a high level of criminal activity here because of the activities here,” Adeniyi said.

According to the Acting Director, the commission within the year has successfully secured the conviction of 60 persons standing corruption charges, adding that Internet fraud ranks high in the state.

Adeniyi said: “We have a lot of people under prosecution, but so far we have over 60 convictions, we have had this year. And we are going because we have a lot of cases in court. There are a lot of offences committed and a lot of investigations going on. The legal department and the operations departments are putting in their best.

“I am new in Rivers State, but I have not seen a lot of whistleblowers, but with this campaign today, it will bring awareness to the people. If you don’t communicate with people, they would not know you can communicate with them and receive this kind of information. We wish to inform them that they are safe when they give us information.

“Looking at it. You will see that internet fraud is always at a high level. We know our youths these days are every opportunity they go into internet fraud. So, the level of crime is high, that is why you see that we are trying to clamp down on them and see how we can reduce it.”

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