- After years of evading arrest, the EFCC has finally caught up with Osondu Victor Igwilo, a suspect wanted by the FBI in America
- Igwilo and three others were arrested by the operatives of the EFCC in Lagos over an alleged fraud to the tune of N41.6 billion
- The United States Mission in Nigeria has congratulated the EFCC for partnering with the FBI to make the important arrest
Lagos, Nigeria - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has has arrested Osondu Victor Igwilo, a suspect wanted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in the US since 2018.
This was disclosed in a statement released by the anti-graft agency's spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, on Monday, March 14.
Uwajaren said Igwilo, aged 52, is the alleged leader of a criminal network of “catchers”.
Legit.ng gathers that he was arrested alongside Okafor Nnamdi Chris, Nwodu Uchenna Emmanuel and John Anazo Achukwu at a studio in the Sangotedo area of Lagos.
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Igwilo accused of $100 million
According to the EFCC, Igwilo and others were accused of fraud, money laundering and identity theft to the tune of about $100 million (about N41.6 billion, according to CBN's exchange rate).
The suspects allegedly perpetrated a scheme involving false promises of investment funding, impersonating United States bank officials in person and via the internet.
Igwilo was placed on the FBI watch list following a criminal complaint filed against him in the U.S. District Court, Houston, Texas, in December 2016.
The statement read:
“It was the end of the road, on Thursday, March 11, 2022, for one Osondu Victor Igwilo, who had been on the watch list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, since 2018, when operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Command, swooped on him.
“Fifty-two-year-old Igwilo, who is the alleged leader of a criminal network of ‘catchers’ was arrested alongside Okafor Nnamdi Chris, Nwodu Uchenna Emmanuel and John Anazo Achukwu 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.
“Investigation revealed that those who fell victims to 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.
“Consequently, Igwilo was placed on the FBI watch list, following a criminal complaint filed against him in the United States District Court, Houston, Texas in December 2016.”
US reacts to Igwilo's arrest
In a brief statement posted on Twitter, the United States Mission in Nigeria congratulated the EFCC partnering with the FBI to arrest Igwilo which it described as a "long-time wanted suspect".
The statement reads:
"With Justice as our mutual priority, we congratulate EFCC for partnering with the FBI & arresting long-time wanted suspect Igwilo for fraud conspiracy, money laundering and aggravated identity theft."
Inem James Eshiet said on Facebook:
"Congratulations to the EFCC. They should bundle him on same flight with Abba Kyari straight to US. They've dented our image too much because of greed."
Utibe Bassey Gcfr said:
"They had such an amount of money yet just look at the kind of useless slippers they are all wearing.
"Pls ensure Abba Kyari is extradited to the US. He is also on the FBI list."
Numo King said:
"Good job..how much can you pay an informant for info concerning yahoo boys?"
Jide Demehin said:
"Good work! Only that lawyers will definitely get them out."
Woman scammed by Nigerian claiming to be US soldier gets her money back
In another report, the EFCC has helped a German woman who was scammed by a Nigerian man to recover his money.
In a Facebook post by EFCC, the sum of €1,120 (N623,735.28) was given back to the owner on Thursday, February 24.
The agency said the fraudster got his victim by lying that he is a wounded American soldier. The name of the criminal who hails from Edo state was given as Austin Isibor Aisosa.