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

Lounge, club owners protest EFCC invasion in Ondo

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it has handed over $22,000 recovered from Hakeem Olanrewaju, convicted internet fraudster to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

The handover took place on Friday in Lagos State, according to a statement released on Saturday by Dele Oyewale, the EFCC spokesperson.

Michael Wetkas, Acting Director of the EFCC Lagos Zonal Command, expressed the agency’s commitment to international cooperation in fighting cybercrime.

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

Charles Smith, FBI Legal Attaché praised the EFCC for its efforts in combating cybercrime.

“The EFCC and FBI work collaboratively together, and it is thanks to the EFCC that we can recover funds of this nature, especially from Business Email Compromise (BEC) schemes.

“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”, Smith stated.

Smith emphasized the importance of the ongoing partnership between the EFCC and the FBI.

“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”, he stated.

The funds were recovered following a court order by Nicholas Oweibo, Justice of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.

On August 15, 2023, Oweibo ordered that the recovered money from Olanrewaju, who was sentenced to two years imprisonment for identity theft and impersonation, be restituted to his victim in the United States.