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

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

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has handed over $22,000 recovered from a convicted internet fraudster to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States.

A statement by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, on Saturday, said the handover ceremony took place in Lagos on Friday.

The agency said the money was recovered from Hakeem Olanrewaju, a convicted internet fraudster.

According to the commission, a Federal High Court judge in Ikoyi, Lagos, Nicholas Oweibo, ordered on 15 August 2023 that the money recovered from Mr Olanrewaju be returned to the fraud victim in the United States.

Mugshot of Hakeem Olanrewaju
Mugshot of Hakeem Olanrewaju

Mr Olanrewaju was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for identity theft and impersonation.

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During the handover ceremony, Acting Director of the Lagos Zonal Command of the EFCC, Michael Wetkas, reaffirmed the commission’s dedication to combating crimes and restoring sanity to the nation.

“We are delighted to be handing over these proceeds of crime today. The EFCC is willing and always ready to do more,” he said.



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Responding, FBI Legal Attaché Charles Smith highlighted the collaborative efforts between the EFCC and FBI that helped recover funds of this nature, especially from the 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,” Mr Smith said.

READ ALSO: GIABA, EFCC, governor, others speak on tackling terrorism financing, violent conflicts

EFCC official and FBI Legal Attaché Charles Smith
EFCC official and FBI Legal Attaché Charles Smith

“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.”

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The ceremony was attended by EFCC’s Head of Public Affairs, Lagos, Ayo Oyewole; Head of Investigation, Deborah Oni; and Head of Advance Fee Fraud 1, Alex Ogbole.

Also present were Assistant Legal Attaché Michael Thomas and Foreign Service Investigator Ayo Solademi.



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