16th June, 2022
By Mujidat Oyewole.
The Ilorin Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has warned hotel owners to avoid being accomplices to internet fraudsters who check into their facilities.
The Zonal Commander of the EFCC, Michael Nzekwe, gave the warning on Thursday while addressing a stakeholders meeting of Designated Non-Financial Institutions (DNFIs) at the commission’s office.
Nzekwe threatened that any hotel owner caught in the act of accommodating internet fraudsters for money laundering activities risked being prosecuted and jailed.
“The commission has observed a worrying pattern of hospitality by entrepreneurs towards suspected fraudsters by housing them over a long period and making internet facilities available to them.”
“I hereby warn hoteliers against allowing cyber criminals into their facilities,” he said.
He said that the act contravened Section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.
According to him, the offence attracts a prison term of between five and 15 years without the option of a fine for any person who permits his premises to be used for any offence.
Meanwhile, Nzekwe noted ignorance was not an excuse under the law and urged hotel owners to always ask their customers for means of identification and fill in their occupation as part of the check-in procedures.
The zonal commander implored hotel owners to support the commission with credible and actionable information, saying that such information when received would be treated with absolute confidentiality.