EFCC Arrests Suspected ‘Catcher’ Leader On FBI Watchlist, Three Others Over $100m Fraud


Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested one Osondu Igwilo who has been on the watchlist of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2018.

EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Wilson Uwujaren, who confirmed this in a statement on Monday, said the suspect was apprehended by operatives of the anti-graft agency in Lagos.

According to him, Igwilo was arrested on Thursday last week alongside three others – Okafor Chris, Nwodu Emmaunel, and John Achukwu.

Fifty-two-year-old Igwilo, said to be the alleged leader of a criminal network of ‘catchers’, was arrested at a studio in the Sangotedo area of Lagos for alleged fraud, money laundering, and identity theft to the tune of about $100 million.

“Before their arrest, Igwilo and his accomplices had allegedly been involved in an advance-fee scheme that involved false promises of investment funding by individuals who impersonated some United States of America (USA) bank officials in person and via the internet,” Uwujaren said in the statement.

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“Investigation revealed that those who fell victims of the suspects’ criminal activities were asked to make certain payments before they could receive their funding.

“It was also revealed that proceeds of the scheme were allegedly laundered through U.S. bank accounts and diverted back to the alleged perpetrators in Nigeria.”

Igwilo, the EFCC spokesman stated, was consequently placed on the FBI watchlist following a criminal complaint filed against him at the U.S. District Court in Houston, Texas in December 2016.

He added that the anti-graft agency’s operatives recovered five houses located in choice areas of Lagos from Igwilo following the arrest.

Uwujaren stated that the suspects would soon be charged to court. CHANNELS


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