The Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested Emmanuel Dike Chidiebere, a suspect on the watch list of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), for conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering.
Acting on verified intelligence, operatives of the Commission on Wednesday, March 23, 2022, tracked the suspect to Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State where he was arrested.
Chidiebere is alleged to have defrauded some victims in America, Cote D’Ivoire and Poland of some undisclosed amount of money and went underground.
Three of his accomplices are still at large.
The suspect’s arrest comes few weeks after the EFCC apprehended two other individuals on the FBI’s wanted-list.
Osondu Igwilo and Kelechi Vitalis Anozie, were apprehended in Lagos and Enugu respectively, they had been on the watchlist of the FBI for a few years now.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, revealed that fifty-two-year-old Igwilo, who is 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.
“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.
In Anozie’s case, the EFCC disclosed that suspected fraudster has been wanted since 2019.
Uwujaren said operatives arrested Anozie on the 10th of March, following an investigative trail of activities not unconnected to fraud and illegal money laundering.
Anozie, who is a self-professed clergyman and four other suspects: Valentine Iro, Ekene Ekechukwu (alias Ogedi Power), Bright Azubuike (alias Bright Bauer Azubuike), and Ifeanyi Junior, is alleged to have defrauded one F.F, who lives in Illinois, United States, the sum of $135,800 and another $47,000.
The suspect, who is the founder of a church called Praying City Church in Owerri, Imo State, was first placed on a watch list in 2019 when the FBI announced charges against 80 people, most of them Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.