State of play
Not too long ago, a joint operation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other international security agencies pioneered the arrest of a Nigerian Instagram celebrity, Hushpuppi, for a wire fraud of over $1.1million.
Since that time, the FBI and Nigeria’s own Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have worked closely to track down and arrest perpetrators of cyber-crimes, wire fraud, identity theft and many other financially related crimes in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
In March 2022, the FBI arrested Kelechi Vitalis Anozie, founder of praying city church, for wire fraud of $135,000 and $47,000. Two weeks before that, the FBI arrested Osondu Victor Igwilo, a four-year suspect, associated with crimes relating to fraud, identity theft and money laundering of about $100 million.
On July 14th, the EFCC announced the extradition of one Fatade Idowu Olamilekan to the United States for wire fraud of $3.5 million.
The unending list of Nigerians suspected for financially related crimes in different parts of the world is increasingly disturbing.
The big picture
These reports have made several security companies list Nigeria as one of the top countries and the leading African country with the most fraudsters. In fact, a report by techshielder, a UK online security company projects that Nigerian scammers have earned over £12 million.
Again, reports of Nigerians perpetrating financial crimes taint the view of international communities on Nigerians. This discourages a working business relationship with the country’s citizens. It is important to note that the number of suspected financial crime offenders in the country does not make up to one quarter of the country’s legally earning citizens.