EFCC arrests ‘criminal syndicate leader’ wanted by FBI over ‘$100m fraud’

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says its operatives have arrested one Osondu Igwilo, an alleged leader of a criminal network who has been on the wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2018 for $100m fraud.

They are said to be involved in money laundering and identity theft to the tune of $100 million.

“Fifty-two-year-old Igwilo, who is the alleged leader of a criminal network of ‘catchers’ was arrested alongside Okafor Nnamdi Chris, Nwodu Uchenna Emmanuel and John Anazo Achukwu at a studio in the Sangotedo area of Lagos for alleged fraud, money laundering and identity theft to the tune of about $100m,” the statement reads.

“Before their arrest, Igwilo and his accomplices had allegedly been involved in an advance-fee scheme that involved false promises of investment funding by individuals who impersonated some United States of America, USA, bank officials in person and via the internet.

“Investigation revealed that those who fell victims to the suspects’ criminal activities were asked to make certain payments before they could receive their funding.

“It was also revealed that proceeds of the scheme were allegedly laundered through U.S. bank accounts and diverted back to the alleged perpetrators in Nigeria.

“Consequently, Igwilo was placed on the FBI watch list, following a criminal complaint filed against him in the United States District Court, Houston, Texas in December 2016.”

The EFCC said five houses have been recovered from Igwilo in Lagos, adding that the suspects will be charged to court soon.

Meanwhile, the US mission in Nigeria has congratulated EFCC on the arrest.

“With Justice as our mutual priority, we congratulate @officialEFCC for partnering with the @FBI & arresting long-time wanted suspect Igwilo for fraud conspiracy, money laundering and aggravated identity theft,” the mission wrote on Twitter.

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