Ismaila Atumeyi, a New Nigeria Peoples Party candidate for the Kogi State House of Assembly, was detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission with N326 million and $140,500 in cash. PUNCH publishes.
In a sting operation on Sunday, October 30, 2022, at Macedonia Street, Queens Estate, Karsana, Gwarinpa, Abuja, Joshua Dominic, an alleged serial fraudster, and Atumeyi, who is running to represent Ankpa 11 Constituency in the Kogi State House of Assembly, were both apprehended.
Abdumalik Femi, a former bank employee who is accused of providing the insider information that enabled the group to assault the bank, was also detained in connection with the fraud.
Femi was picked up today (Tuesday), November 1, 2022, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lagos, according to EFCC spokesperson Wilson Uwujaren.
“After his arrest, his residence in Morgan Estate, Ojodu was searched, and $470,000 USD was found there in total.
“The suspects’ arrest came after months of inquiry into the hacking of one of the commercial banks by a group of thieves who pulled off a crime of N1.4 billion,” he said.
The syndicate is said to have transferred N887 million into the Fav Oil and Gas Limited account, from which the funds were disbursed to a number of Bureau de Change operators and certain auto dealers for conversion to US dollars and the purchase of high-end vehicles.
Dominic, who has previously been detained for fraud, is said to have worked with Abdumalik to help Atumeyi develop his hacking strategy. The Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police detained Dominic, a self-styled financial guru and managing director of Brisk Capital Limited, in May 2021 for an alleged N2 billion investment scam. He allegedly used a bogus investment scam to swindle over 500 people.
The two suspects detained in Abuja were also found to be in possession of two Range Rover Luxury SUVs.
Uwujaren stated that as soon as the inquiry was finished, the suspects would be charged in court.
In the meantime, the panel expresses worry over the increasing number of cyberattacks on banks and the institutions’ reluctance to notify law enforcement of such violations.
The EFCC urges to financial institutions to work with it to defend the financial sector from dangers of cyberattacks while cautioning that such timidity would only empower criminals.
After the Central Bank of Nigeria recently announced plans to redesign and reissue higher denominations of the naira, the EFCC warned Bureau de Change operators to be on the lookout for currency hoarders who would try to take advantage of the opportunity to sell the currencies they had illegally hidden away.