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FBI awards Magu for help in arrest of ‘167 fraudsters’ in Nigeria

Valentine Chinyem

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The acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu, has received an award of excellence from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).

This was made known by Mr. Tony Orilade, EFCC’s spokesman.

According to him, the award was presented to Magu last week Tuesday, for his “unique role” in the joint field operation with the FBI code-named, “Operation Rewired” aimed at tackling the menace of cyber-crime.

Operation Rewired, a coordinated law enforcement effort by the US Department of Justice, in conjunction with anti-corruption agencies around the world, was conducted over a four-month period resulting in 281 arrests in the US and overseas, including 167 in Nigeria, 18 in Turkey and 15 in Ghana.

Mr. Orilade added that, other arrests were also made in France, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom (UK). The operation resulted in the seizure of nearly $3.7 million.

Amahdi Uche, the FBI legal attaché, who presented the award during a visit to the EFCC headquarters in Abuja, commended Magu’s leadership and the commission for the concerted efforts in the fight against corruption.

“After a long race and crossing a certain finished line, we look back and see how far we have gone, and then come back together to say thank you very much for all your support in tackling the business email compromise (BEC) menace across the world, not just in Nigeria, but across the world,” Uche said.

According to Uche, the EFCC, under Magu, has put in place efficient working collaboration leading to the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of BEC across the globe.

He reiterated the need for more collaboration between the FBI and the EFCC, noting that the bureau was “immensely pleased” with the assistance rendered by the commission.

“We come to present a few token of our appreciation in the form of citation and certificates from the FBI to the operatives who handled part of the BEC rewired operation,” he said.

Responding, Magu appreciated the FBI for deeming it fit to consider him and his team worthy for the award.

He assured the FBI of the commission’s readiness to continue partnering with the FBI.

He said the exchange of intelligence with the FBI helped the commission in winning the fight against cyber-crime, adding that the working relationship with the FBI was necessary “because corruption is a borderless crime”.

Officers who received the award of excellence along with Magu include, Abdullahi Lawal, Ernest Okoli, Ajao Mariam, Haruna Idris and Naziru Aminu Shehu.

Others are Umar Yabo, Okanne Kelechi, Princewill Kingsley, Blessing Elegbede, Kaigama Mustapha, Kolawole Mukaila, Baba Mustapha, Najib Isah, Afanda Bashir and Abdullahi Lawal.