EFCC nabs 2 cyber fraudsters in Lagos, forfeit assets, millions to FG

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested two internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Boys, Alimi Seun Sikiru and Tobiloba Ibrahim Bakare, who were both convicted and sentenced to three years in prison.

Aside a jail term, the judge also ordered the convicts to forfeit to the federal government the sum of N204,041,216.82; Mercedes Benz E500; Toyota Hilux 2020 model; 5-bedroom duplex, situated at Ibrahim Beto Street, Osapa London, Lekki, Lagos; a 4-bedroom semi detached duplex situated at Ologolo Jakande, Lekki, Lagos and a 4-bedroom semi detached duplex in Southern View Estate, Mayor Court, Chevron Alternative Road, Lekki, Lagos.

EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren in a statement issued to journalists on Monday, said the duo were arrested by operatives of the agency for hacking emails of corporate organisations.

“For many years, Tobilola Ibrahim Bakare and Alimi Seun Sikiru enjoyed the frills of the nouveau riche and the effervescent image of modern age role model of success among the young and upwardly mobile. What with their collection of wonders- on- wheels and exquisitely furnished mansions in exclusive neighborhoods of Lagos. Life was good and business was sweet as the greenback kept tumbling in, from one deal after another.

“Their proverbial master keys to ceaseless flow of wealth was access to the email of corporate organisations, a practice that is known as Business Email Compromise Scam in cybercrime. Bakare, the lord of the manor as far as the deadly partnership is concerned, had mastered the art of breaking into the emails of corporate organisations through hacking, and compromising their financials. By the time his melody changed to swansong, his cumulative heist was in the neighbourhood of $1 million.

“What went wrong? The guy men, as internet fraudsters are called in cybercrime circles, were not careless. They never expected a comeuppance, at least not in the short term. But a certain transfer from one of their corporate accounts became their Achilles heels. As it turned out, EFCC was literally in pursuit of a small fish when it landed a Shark.

“The agency was poring through transactions in the account of Kehinde Adelakun, a convicted internet fraudster, when it stumbled on a transfer of N5 million in two tranches. The money was wired from the account of Alvine International Resources Ventures, a company owned by Sikiru. The transaction did not sit well in the imagination of the investigators, and they decided to dig deeper. One thing led to another and, in the end, the investigation revealed a slew of suspicious transactions reeking of brazen laundering of proceeds of crime.

“There is also N203, 796,068.83 cash in two bank accounts. Faced with the overwhelming evidence by the EFCC, the fraudsters caved in, and agreed to give up the assets linked to them. The two vehicles valued at N30 million and the three duplexes valued at N230 million were subsequently forfeited to the Federal Government. The forfeited assets also included the sums of N196, 741,216.82 and N7,054, 852.01 in bank accounts.”