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EFCC reveals how banks lost over N8bn in 9 months to internet fraudsters

The Chairman of the Economic Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has stated that banks in Nigeria lost over N8 billion in nine months to internet fraudsters popularly called Yahoo Yahoo Boys.


According to the EFCC boss, “In 2022 alone (I’m waiting for the report of 2023), we discovered that more than 71 percent of Nigerian industries, companies and firms fell victim to cyber crime.


“Now, which country or company would thrive with this kind of thing? You want to attract foreign direct investment; the moment you come in, Yahoo boys will attack your platform. You start losing money and you think they would stay?


“Is that not what we are seeing? We are rescuing the future of Nigeria by going into this cyber crime investigation and prosecution.


“Now, within that period, the Nigerian economy lost $706 million (via) these companies through cyber crime. And this is due to the activities of these Yahoo Yahoo boys. Because we don’t take them seriously now, not knowing that we are sitting on a keg of gunpowder.


“The alarming statistics continued with Nigerian banks losing over N8 billion to electronic transfer fraud. That was in the first nine months of 2022.


“A system lost over N8 billion to a particular scheme of fraud. And you are asking EFCC to close its eyes to that kind of situation. Are we even fair to ourselves?”


He said the agency is prosecuting two of its operatives for violating the agency’s code of conduct.


The Chairman further said, “More alarming is the existence of 419 training schools across the country.


“We’ve discovered that in almost all the States of Nigeria. In all the sub-nationals, we have what we call ‘419 training schools’ where they harvest our children from primary schools.


“When they leave school, they end up in some of these 419 training schools. They start indoctrinating them. These are facts. They even ask their parents to sign an undertaking. After that, they induct them and some of these fraud tests start paying their school fees. They will indoctrinate them into cyber crime; as young as they are. Even children of those from wealthy homes are doing it now. It’s a trend!


“Now, Nigeria’s yearly loss to internet fraud amounted to over $500 million. In one year! This is according to the Nigeria Communications Commission.”


The EFCC boss, however, revealed that the agency has created a Cybercrime Research Centre. This is where convicted Yahoo Yahoo boys, would be trained to channel their knowledge to positive aspects of the society.


On the fraud in the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, the EFCC boss said, “I’ve said it before, we are investigating over 50 accounts. You must understand some of these processes. For each account, we write letters to banks and the banks reply. From there, we get other leads. From there, we follow those leads again and we start writing letters.


“Sometimes, it takes two, three weeks for them to reply. We bring people, we interview them. We run after those ones.


“Investigation takes time. I’ve not come out to say I’ve indicted so and so person. What I said was that we have recovered so, so amount.”


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