According to local news reports, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered a suspect to forfeit about 1.98 units of bitcoin to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission of Nigeria (EFCC Nigeria).
The crypto, worth 40 million Naira ($91,669) was seized from Alkali Naziru Tanimu who is suspected of engaging in internet fraud, also called ‘Yahoo Yahoo’ in local terms.
The court also ordered the suspect to surrender to the government an iPhone 12 Pro Max, an iPhone 7, and all funds in his bank accounts with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc and UBA Plc.
The case against Mr. Alkali was brought forward by Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) which asked the court to seize the suspect’s property arguing that they are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of illegal activity and that the court has the statutory powers under the provision of Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006, to forfeit them.
Nigerians use the term ‘Yahoo Boys’ to refer to young internet fraudsters usually in tertiary institutions who exploit innocent internet users, usually conning them of money – a crime that continues to take root with the advent of new technologies, an extensive report by the Vanguard revealed.
The scammers utilize various kinds of technology to execute their scams, including cryptocurrencies, which have proliferated in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. Some of the common scams that the Yahoo Boys execute include:
- Crypto scams
- ATM fraud
- Sim swaps
In the recent past, the EFFCC has said:
“We have seen time and time again where cybercriminals are using this avenue to get their proceeds of crime. Before it used to be through money transfer agencies like MoneyGram and ofcourse Western Union. Now they have gone E. They will defraud anybody.”
They will get gift cards, exchange them on the dark web, and they will use the proceeds to buy crypto, and they can get it to their e-wallet, and then, of course, they can sell and get their money.”
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