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Financial crimes: Edo second highest in convictions – EFCC

The Economic Financial Crime Commission, EFCC, has rated Edo State as the second highest in financial-related crime convictions in the country.

DAILY POST reports that the Zonal Director of the agency in charge of Edo, Delta and Ondo states, Effa Okim, disclosed this in Benin City while on a courtesy visit to the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ.

Okim, who expressed worry over the statistics, noted that it was not a good reputation for the citizens and residents of the state.

According to him, “the statistics that we have is that Edo is after Lagos State in terms of conviction. It calls for concern.

“It is not a good reputation and for me, Edo is too great in the Nigerian history to be reduced to that level in terms of criminality,” he said.

The Benin Zonal Director stated that cybercrime, popularly known as ‘yahoo yahoo’ had led some children to go into ritual, adding that they had even resorted to using their parents for money rituals.

While noting that such crime undermined the culture, tradition and sanctity of the Nigerian state, he, however, blamed parents for not checkmating their children.

He said the commission was ready to partner with the media “to reduce the visibility of crime on our streets, especially the cybercrime being perpetuated by children, mostly underaged”.

Okim, who warned that the commission would not tolerate the act of spraying money in public, opined that the offence was even worse than cybercrime.

He averred that spraying money in public gives teenagers the mentality of getting wealth by any means.

He disclosed that some laws that frowned against accessory to crime would be activated by the anti-graft agency to curb the close affinity that some individuals share with the criminal elements.

He assured that when such laws were activated, landlords leasing their properties to such youngsters would become a thing of the past.

Okim, who also spoke on the involvement of underage boys in internet fraud, disclosed that they sworn-on affidavit of age declaration to enable them open bank accounts and get driver’s licenses to expend their proceeds from the crimes.

He, however, vowed to go after government agencies and individuals that issue the papers for the fraudulent declarations.

He also vowed that parents who normally claimed that their children were underage when convicted would also go in for it for their complicity in the forgery of documents.

“Crime, what we call yahoo yahoo, is visible in our streets. When you walk on our streets, when you visit our hotels per second you see these boys and it is so visible, disturbing.

“Often because they go and agree with some authorities and do age declaration stating that they are eighteen just to enable them to open accounts and put their criminal structures in place.

“And at the end, when they are arrested, their fathers will come and say their children are underage.

“We are asking them where were you when he got his driver’s license? Where were you when your underage son opened an account because in Nigerian law an underage cannot open an account? Where were you when your son was spending money in an irresponsible manner,” he queried.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Edo State Council of the NUJ, Festus Alenkhe, urged the new zonal director to maintain an open door policy to always make information available to journalists.

Financial crimes: Edo second highest in convictions – EFCC

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