Juliana Francis

Teenage boys were among six suspects arrested by the  Nigeria Police Force for running a cybercrime training and operational centre in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Force spokesman, Muyiwa, Adejobi, who confirmed the incident, adding that the centre had been shut down, added: “In a significant stride against cybercrime and cyber-related offences, the Nigeria Police Force – National Cybercrime Center (NPF-NCCC) has successfully uncovered and dismantled a sophisticated cybercrime syndicate operating in a Cybercrime recruitment and mentoring hub in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).”

According to the image maker, the investigation and operation were initiated in response to a series of intelligence reports that indicated a deep involvement of the syndicate in various cybercrimes, including Business Email Compromise, Romance Scams, and High Yield Investment Program Fraud.

He further stated: “Upon receiving the intelligence, a team of Cybercrime Forensic Experts and Investigators were detailed on the case, painstaking effort expended in clinically investigating the case which led to the arrest of six suspects at their hideout in the Dantata estate area of the FCT and the recovery of several digital gadgets and effects used in perpetrating their criminal enterprise on the 13th of September 2023.”

Adejobi identified the suspects as  Bernard Joseph, 27, Emmanuel Joseph, 22, Obasi Ikechukwu, 19, Anijiofor Tobechuckwu, 26, Andrew Moses,19, and Israel Ezekiel 19.

He also said that the six suspects summarily confessed to their various degrees of involvement in cybercrime including identity theft, hacking, and trading of hacked Facebook accounts, romance scam, computer-related forgery, and other computer-related fraud punishable under the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc.) Act, 2015 It is pertinent to state that the investigation is ongoing and efforts to apprehend the fleeing members of this criminal network are underway.

“Meanwhile, the arrested suspects will be charged in court upon the conclusion of the investigation,” said Adejobi.

The Inspector General of Police Ag. IGP Olukayode Egbetokun, while reiterating the commitment of the Force to combatting crime at all fronts irrespective of its dynamics, has directed the Director, NPF-NCCC, Uche Ifeanyi Henry, to take no break in ensuring the safety of individuals and enterprises online.

He also urges parents, wards, thought leaders and social/religious institutions to outrightly condemn this menace and partner with the Police in ensuring a safer digital space for all.

In addition, the NPF urged landlords/landladies and facility owners to expose any such cybercrime recruitment centres and mentoring hubs noticed in their areas or houses.

The IGP said: “We need to break the conspiracy of silence and expose the evil doers in our society. We want to reassure the public that we will continually work with partners, stakeholders, and other relevant security agencies to decimate the activities of cyber criminals and other criminals across the country.

“The Nigeria Police Force, therefore, counts on your support and unwavering commitment to tackling crimes and criminality in the country. Finally, public members are urged to remain vigilant and report any suspicious online activities through our dedicated e-reporting portal at http://incb.npf.gov.ng, and via email at policecyberunit@pf.cybersecurity.gov.ng.”


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