Over £100m recovered from internet fraudsters globally

One hundred and ten million pound ster­ling was recovered from internet fraud­sters between 2007 and the last quarter of 2010, while 12,000 fraudulent e-mails were intercepted during the same period.

The amount, which would have been lost by individuals the world over, was recov­ered through the joint efforts of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of Nigeria and the Serious Organ­ised Crime Agency (SOCA), Europe.

Within the period, the two bodies also intercepted 3,870 scam e-mails from reach­ing potential victims and managed to alert 700,000 potential victims who could have lost millions of dollars.

A Principal Staff Officer of the EFCC, Mr Bala Sanga, disclosed this at a press conference after a three-day summit on cyber crime in Abuja, Nigeria.

More than 300 delegates, mainly law enforcement personnel from 15 West African countries, Europe and the United States of America (USA), attended the sum­mit on the theme: “The Fight against Cyber­crime: Towards Innovative and Sustainable     Economic Development”.

It was organised by the EFCC in collaboration with Microsoft and the United Nations Office on Organised Crime (UNODC).

The event was hosted by the EFCC in conjunction with Microsoft, the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) with the Coun­cil of Europe, International Police Organisa­tion (INTERPOL) and SOCA participating.

Explaining further, Mr Sanga said the EFCC had also set up a transaction clearing platform to provide basic due diligence, which includes the profitability of business proposal, track record of the solicitor of the business, as well as the identity and existence of the business to enable investors to make informed decisions.

According to Mr Sanga, the bureau was set up to provide free services to potential investors who had received business propos­als.

Mr Sanga urged African governments to be on the alert and flush out these criminals whose activities were tarnishing the image of the continent.

The Citizenship Programme Manager of Microsoft West and Central Africa, Dr (Mrs) Jummai Umar-Ajijola, urged all stakeholders to be on deck to fight cyber crime to the barest minimum.

She said there was a programme in place to divert the attention of the youth from cyber crime to productive ventures, adding that Microsoft had so far signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Nigerian government to, among other things, check child pornography on the internet.

The Officer-in-Charge of the Conference Support Section, Focal Point for Cyber Crime, Organised Crime and Illicit Traffick­ing Branch of the UNODC, Ms Gillian S. Murray, said 3,000 child pornography web­sites were currently in existence.

She said the UNODC was making inroads into the fight against child pornogra­phy and exploitation and accordingly advised parents and teachers to join the fight.

The Director in charge of Digital Crimes Unit, Legal and Corporate Affairs of Microsoft, Europe, Middle East and Africa gave the assurance that Microsoft would continue to support the fight against cyber crime.

Source: Daily Graphic

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