The FBI and Nigeria’s anti-graft agency said Tuesday they have intensified a joint investigation into cyber criminal networks, weeks after the US government released a wanted list of 77 Nigerian cyber fraud suspects.
A “sweep” operation from May through to September, with Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), “focused on dismantling the most significant cyber criminal enterprises,” FBI legal attache, Ahamdi Uche told a joint press conference in Lagos.
The EFCC said a “sizeable number” of the 77 Nigerian suspects had been arrested, while a further 167 Nigerians had been detained since August for alleged computer-related fraud, under ‘Operation Rewired’, coordinated with the US law enforcement agency.
“Our efforts in coordinating the EFCC/FBI joint operations in Nigeria recorded tremendous successes”, against “the infamous Yahoo Yahoo boys (nickname given to Nigerian internet fraudsters)”, the EFCC’s director of information, Mohammed Abba said, referring to fraud attempts via Yahoo mail accounts.
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