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MAGU: EFCC arrests 167 with FBI assistance, recovers N92m, $169,000

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PDP wants Magu to clear alleged corruption, violations

…Docks whistleblower for allegedly giving false information to EFCC***

The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) highlighted on Tuesday that its collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has led to the arrest of 167 Nigerians for alleged computer related frauds.

The Executive Chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu indicated this in Lagos, through his representative and the commission’s Lagos Director of Operations, Mr. Mohammed Abba.

Magu said that the just concluded coordinated operations with the FBI tagged: ‘Operation Rewired’, also resulted in the recovery of the sum of $169,850 as well as N92 million.

He posited that four exotic cars, plots of land in choice areas in Lagos and a property in Abuja were also recovered during the operations.

“Being an international model operation targeted at computer related frauds, the EFCC, FBI collaborative operations, spanning three weeks, was designed to intercept and interrupt the global network of internet fraudsters.

“Before now, we had relentlessly launched intensive investigative actions against the infamous ‘yahoo yahoo boys’, culminating into various strategic raids, onslaught on criminals hideout, prosecutions and convictions.

“Our efforts in collaborating and coordinating the EFCC, FBI joint operations in Nigeria recorded tremendous successes leading to a number of arrests, seizures and recoveries.

“The suspected fraudsters arrested in the course of the operation will be prosecuted accordingly,” he said, urging the media to continue to help in mobilising and educating all critical stakeholders on the need to support the fight against economic and financial crimes.

He said the society owes the youths that social responsibility of awakening their consciousness to the importance of a noble life devoid of crimes.

“I wish to state with a high sense of responsibility, that there are no short- cut to success other than hard work.

Also read:  EFCC: We’re gathering intel on Nigerians indicted in U.S

“The youths, therefore, must shun crime and its alluring temptations, because it will always end in sorrow and regrets.

“Now that the infamous internet crimes have received global attention and concern, there will be no hiding place for fraudsters,” he said.

Magu said that the EFCC would continue to partner with the FBI and other international law enforcement agencies, especially in the area of exchange of information and actionable intelligence.

He said that this would reduce the menace of cyber crime and other computer based frauds in the country.

Also speaking, Mr Uche Ahamdi, Legal Attaché, FBI, Abuja said that IC3; FBI’s global reporting internet fraud body received 20,373 Business E-mail Compromised (BEC) complaints with losses of over 1.2 billion dollars.

“The FBI and law enforcement partners in the U.S. and abroad implemented a strategy to target and disrupt these scammers and illicit actors and dismantle international fraudulent BEC transactions.

“The sweep ran from May through September during a four week period primarily in the U.S., Nigeria, Ghana, Turkey, France, Italy, UK, Japan, Kenya and Malaysia.

“This was done in accordance to the efforts to dismantle international fraudulent BEC transactions and pursue organised criminal enterprises that target and harm American businesses,” he said.

Ahamdi said the global goal of the operation was to send a message to all who participated in the BEC scheme that they would be caught and prosecuted regardless of where they were located.

In the meantime, a Whistleblower, Umoh Edem was on Tuesday arraigned by the EFCC before an Ikeja High Court, for allegedly giving false N700 million pension and tax evasion fraud information about a company.

The EFCC charged Edem with making false statement to a public officer.

Counsel of the EFCC, Mr. S.O. Daji told the court that the defendant committed the offence on August 7,  in Lagos.

Daji said that the defendant provided false information to the EFCC about the involvement of a company, Starsonic/Sacvin Group of Nigeria, where he was an employee.

“The defendant, claimed that the management staff of the company was involved in a massive pension fraud, tax evasion and other fraudulent activities in the tune of N700 million,” he said.

He said that the defendant had an intent to embarrass the company, and gave information he knew was false to the EFCC and Mrs Patience Kalu, a public officer.

Deji said that the offence contravened Section 96 (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The vacation Judge, Justice Hakeem Oshodi, ordered that the defendant be defendant be remanded in a correctional facility.

Oshodi also ordered the EFCC to return the case file to the registry for reassignment.

 

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Sri Lankan President Thanks Seychelles Defence Forces For Rescuing Sri Lankan Vessel From Somali Pirates

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President Ramkalawan says Seychellois military boarded boat with utmost courage to take complete control

 The Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) Special Forces and Seychelles Coast Guards on board Coast Guards vessel Topaz led a successful operation to regain control of a Sri Lankan vessel hijacked by armed Somali pirates.

Seychellois special military forces boarded the boat with utmost courage to take complete control of the vessel and rescue our Sri Lankan brothers.

The Commander in Chief of the Seychelles, President Wavel Ramkalawan has spoken to the Chief of Defence Forces, Brigadier Michael Rosette to congratulate the Special Forces and Coast Guards team on a well-executed and successful mission.

“This is the spirit of the Seychelles Defence Forces. Professionalism, courage, and bravery are the tenets of the new spirit in the force. Though small, we will make our contribution to attaining maritime security, peace, and determination in the fight against terrorism to ensure that the world, especially in our part of the Indian Ocean remains a safe and peaceful region. Once again, I reiterate the  pride and confidence of the Seychellois nation in the Seychelles Defence Forces.”

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GoG: Promoting Trans-boundary Management For Sustainable Socio-Economic Development

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…Mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of the Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME)

NAIROBI, Kenya, January 23, 2024/ — From January 21st to 27th, 2024, AU-IBAR is on a mission in the republics of Benin and Togo. The mission is dedicated to supporting the implementation of a Transboundary Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) initiative between the two nations. Funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), under the project “Conservation of Aquatic Biodiversity within the Framework of the Africa Blue Economy Strategy,” this initiative holds the promise of fostering socio-economic development through the judicious use of marine resources.

Collaborative Efforts: AU-IBAR is collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) body, the Abidjan Convention, and the World Bank-funded West African Coastal Area Management (WACA) Project. The SIDA-funded project, implemented by AU-IBAR, involves an assessment to map the extent of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) usage in Africa as a management tool for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and ecosystems in the west, central, and northern regions of Africa.

Mission Objectives: This mission builds upon previous efforts by AU-IBAR in the beneficiary countries (Benin and Togo) for the national validation of the report on the State of Transboundary Marine Environment (SoME). The current objective is to secure joint expert validation of the SoME report and obtain high-level political endorsement for the provisions of the jointly validated report, demonstrating the commitment of both countries to the cause. Participants in the joint validation workshop include WACA project-nominated committee members from Benin and Togo, representatives from the Abidjan Convention, and government authorities from both nations, alongside relevant AU-IBAR staff.

Political Commitment: The opening statements during the joint meeting saw representatives from the Governments of Benin and Togo, the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention, and the representative of the Director of AU-IBAR express unwavering commitment to the transboundary marine management process. Both the Director of AU-IBAR and the Executive Secretary of the Abidjan Convention reiterated their support for the Governments of Benin and Togo in realizing their shared vision for the sustainable management of coastal and marine resources in the designated shared maritime boundary.

Key Outcomes: The pinnacle achievement of the joint meeting is the validation of the study report on the state of the marine environment between Benin and Togo. This validation marks a significant milestone towards establishing the transboundary MSP between the two countries. AU-IBAR Director, DR Huyam Salih, emphasized that this accomplishment is a crucial step forward in enhancing aquatic biodiversity conservation and environmental protection in the Gulf of Guinea.

Conclusion: The joint expert consultation workshop serves as a testament to the collaborative efforts aimed at promoting transboundary management of shared marine aquatic ecosystems in the Gulf of Guinea. The validated report and political commitment from Benin and Togo are integral to realizing the socio-economic development potential inherent in the sustainable use of marine resources. As AU-IBAR continues its mission, the hope is that this initiative will serve as a model for other regions seeking to harmonize efforts for the conservation and management of their shared marine ecosystems.
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U.S.-British Strikes In Yemen Left 5 Dead, Say Houthi Rebels

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The U.S. and British military strikes in Yemen have left five Houthi fighters dead and six others injured, the Iran-aligned rebels said on Friday, vowing retaliation.

“The American and British enemy bears full responsibility for its criminal aggression,’’ the Houthi military spokesman Yehya Saree said in a statement.

Saree said the massive attack had targeted several Houthi-controlled areas in Yemen including the capital Sana’a.

“It will not pass unanswered and without punishment.

“The Yemeni Armed Forces will not hesitate to target sources of threat and all hostile targets on the ground and in the sea,’’ he said. 

  • dpa
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