EFCC Hands Over $22,000 Recovered from Convicted Fraudster to FBI

EFCC Hands Over $22,000 Recovered from Convicted Fraudster to FBI

Lagos, Nigeria — The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has handed over $22,000 recovered from convicted internet fraudster Hakeem Ayotunde Olanrewaju to the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). The handover took place on Friday in Lagos State, as confirmed by an EFCC statement released on Saturday.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, had ordered on August 15, 2023, that the funds, seized from Olanrewaju, be restituted to his victim in the United States. Olanrewaju was sentenced to two years imprisonment for identity theft and impersonation.

During the handover ceremony, Acting Director of the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC, Michael T. Wetkas, reiterated the commission’s commitment to combating crime and maintaining national integrity.

“We are delighted to be handing over these proceeds of crime today. The EFCC is willing and always ready to do more,” Wetkas stated.

FBI Legal Attaché Charles Smith expressed appreciation for the EFCC’s efforts, highlighting the collaborative nature of their work in tackling Business Email Compromise (BEC) crimes. “This type of crime cripples businesses in the US, and recovering the money within one to two years gives hope to the affected companies and brings some level of justice,” Smith said. He emphasized the importance of the ongoing partnership between the EFCC and FBI.

The ceremony was attended by key officials, including Head of Public Affairs, Lagos, DCE Ayo Oyewole; Head of Investigation, ACE I Deborah Oni; Head of Advance Fee Fraud 1, AFF, CSE Alex Ogbole; Assistant Legal Attaché, Michael Thomas; and Foreign Service Investigator, Ayo Solademi.

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