Updated: February 28, 2021
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ilorin Zonal Office, has arrested a 38-year-old man, Festus Akinyemi Abiona, who was indicted by the Federal Bureau of Investigations, FBI, over his alleged involvement in internet fraud.
Abiona had been on the wanted list of the Commission for more than eight months over the alleged fraud case, before luck ran out on him and he was finally arrested in his hideout.
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Operatives of the EFCC smoked him out of his hiding on February 6, 2020 from his beautifully built duplex in Arepo, Ogun State. He had gone into hiding and deliberately refused to step out of his house, when he got wind of the fact that the EFCC was investigating him. For the past five months, he was in hiding for fear of being arrested.
In the FBI petition dated 10th of July 2019, it was alleged that he was involved in Business Email Compromise, BEC, and other internet-related fraud.
The petition stated further: “In May 2016, the FBI received information that an actor or actors bypassed online security to steal money from retirement accounts held by an insurance company for Public Workers in the United States, which resulted in the loss of approximately $2,500, 000.
“The accounts contained numerous communications between Abiona and other criminal co-conspirators seeking to commit business email compromise (BEC), Tax Refund Fraud, and other Computer enabled fraud”.
Investigation into the case by the Commission revealed that a syndicate that involved Abiona perpetrated the fraud. Millions of naira were traced to his bank accounts and some of the emails used in perpetrating the fruad have been taken over from the suspect.
The suspect on sighting operatives of the EFCC flushed all his SIM cards into the toilet and destroyed all his Automated Teller Machines, ATMs in order to destroy evidence. He has also refused to give a statements since his arrest, but he will soon be arraigned in Court.