EFCC hands over $22,000 recovered from internet fraudster to FBI

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Acting Director, Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC, Michael T. Wetkas handing over the recovered fund to FBI operatives

By Ayorinde Oluokun/Abuja

The sum of $22,000 recovered from a convicted internet fraudster, Hakeem Ayotunde Olanrewaju has been handed over to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The money that was recovered from the convicted internet fraudster was handed over to the FBI operatives in Lagos on Friday, EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale said in a statement on Saturday.

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos had, on August 15, 2023, convicted Olanrewaju for identity theft and impersonation.

Justice Oweibo who sentenced Olanrewaju to two years imprisonment ordered that the money recovered from him should be restituted to his victim in the United States of America, U.S.A.

Speaking during the handover ceremony in Lagos, the Acting Director, Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC, Michael T. Wetkas, reaffirmed the Commission’s dedication to combating crimes and restoring sanity to the nation.

“We are delighted to be handing over this proceeds of crime today.

“The EFCC is willing and always ready to do more.”

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Responding, the FBI Legal Attaché, Charles Smith, said: “The EFCC and FBI work collaboratively together, and it is thanks to the EFCC that we can recover funds of this nature, especially from Business email Compromise, BEC.

“This type of crime cripples businesses in the US, and for them to recover the money within one to two years gives hope to the affected companies and brings some level of justice, even if not all subjects have been identified.

“We hope our relationship continues and fosters a more cohesive partnership between the two agencies. If there’s anything the FBI can do to support this investigation, we will do so.

“We appreciate this on behalf of the FBI and thank the EFCC.”

In attendance at the event were the Head, Public Affairs, Lagos, DCE Ayo Oyewole; Head, Investigation, ACE I Deborah Oni and Head Advance Fee Fraud 1, AFF, CSE Alex Ogbole.

Also present was the Assistant Legal Attaché, Michael Thomas and the Foreign Service Investigator, Ayo Solademi.

Dele Oyewale

Head, Media & Publicity

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