The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested one Emmanuel Oluwatosin, who is on the wanted list of the FBI, as well as four officials of Sabon Birni Local Government Area of Sokoto state.
Mr Abdullahi Lawal, the Head of the EFCC Zonal Office in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, said on Thursday in Sokoto that Oluwatosin and his cohorts were identified in an ongoing computer intrusion investigation in the United States.
“The suspect and his accomplices both in Nigeria and overseas, acquired Retirement Account Information (RAI) and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) of multiple victims.
“The information was then used to fraudulently wire funds into newly created business bank accounts tied to the fraudulently created business. The proceeds were then converted into crypto currency, Bitcoin precisely,” he said.
Lawal added that the suspect was arrested in his luxury house, believed to be proceeds of fraud in Kaduna state.
“Items recovered from the residence include one unit of E550 Mercedes Benz and one unit of C450 Mercedes Benz, IPhone, laptops, modem and SIM cards.
“Preliminary investigation, so far, revealed that about N1.5 billion passes through Oluwatosin account and we have also traced the sum of N70 million he invested,” he added.
The zonal head also said arrested the Sabon Birni LGA Education Secretary, Ishaka Abdullahi and his Deputy, Abdullahi Idris as well as the councils cashier and accountant Abdullahi Dadi and Idris Wambai respectively.
According to him, the arrest followed a petition from 114 teaching staff of Sabon Birni Local Government Education Authority (LGEA), claiming that their salaries have been stopped for several months.
“Investigations commenced by a team of operatives dispatched, which resulted in the recovery of several documents and arrest of the said officials.
“It revealed that since 2013, Sabon Birni LGEA have been maintaining a separate payroll of about 208 ghost workers.
“This was, however, achieved by deducting irregular amount of monies from salaries of the actual staff of the LGEA and using same to pay off the ghost workers.
“These deductions are done not on the actual pay slip provided by the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), but rather, on a separate pay slip created by the LGEA management,” Lawal said.
He added that the zonal office had also arrested one Muzakkir Muhammad, who was wanted by the commission in connection with an alleged case of obtaining money under false pretences and production of fake currencies.
He said that all the suspects would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.