FBI Indictment: No Formal Extradition Request For Abba Kyari, Says IGP

A photo combination of the Inspector General of Nigeria, Usman Alkali Baba and the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari.

 

The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, says he is yet to see or receive a formal extradition request for Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mr Abba Kyari following his indictment by a US Court.

Kyari had earlier in the year been accused of being a conspirator in a 1.1-million-dollar fraud deal involving Instagram celebrity Ramon Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi.

Giving an update on the case, IGP Alkali Baba disclosed on Thursday that he had only heard it on social media, stressing that there was no extradition request as some have reported.

The Inspector General further explained that the panel constituted to investigate the case has submitted its report to the Secretary General of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha for vetting and advice on the findings.

He added that the Force has only just received feedback from the SGF and is contemplating the next step to take.

The police chief’s comment is the latest on the controversial issue in spite of a warrant issued by a US magistrate judge, Otis Wright, ordering the arrest of Kyari.

About a month ago, Minister of Police Affairs, Muhammadu Maigari Dingyadi while affirming that investigations have been concluded and findings submitted, noted that President Muhammadu Buhari will have the final consideration on the matter.


[READ ALSO]

FBI Indictment: Police Commission Suspends Abba Kyari

Coalition Of Northern Groups Demand Review Of Kyari’s Suspension

Court Rejects Group’s Petition To Stop Extradition Of Abba Kyari


 

Fashion funds? 

A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.
A photo combination of a deputy commissioner of police, Abba Kyari, and alleged fraudster, Ramon Abbas, aka, Hushpuppi.

 

Earlier in the year, a US court document suggested that Nigerian socialite Hushpuppi bribed the super cop to arrest and jail a certain Chibuzo Vincent, an estranged ‘co-conspirator,’ in a $1.1 million fraud case.

The document also revealed that Hushpuppi, who had been arrested in Dubai and handed over to US authorities, pleaded guilty to the multi-million-dollar fraud charges filed against him by the US Government.

It further explained that the proceeds from the crime had been spent.

Reacting to the allegations against him, Abba Kyari denied the claims, saying that he collected money to help Hushpuppi sew some clothes. Kyari later stated that he acted as a debt collector for Hushpuppi in a Facebook post which has since been deleted.

The police had assured that a careful and expeditious review of recommendations by its committee would be undertaken by the Force Management Team and thereafter forwarded to appropriate quarters for necessary action(s).

While investigations continued, the embattled police officer was suspended and the IGP appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police, Tunji Disu, to replace Kyari as Head of the Police Intelligence Response Team (IRT).

Hate Crimes Rose Against Black, Asian Americans In 2020 – FBI

A Black Lives Matter protestor sits outside the US Capitol security perimeter during the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Allison dinner / AFP)

 

 

Reported hate crimes in the US, in particular targeting African Americans and Asian Americans, surged in 2020, according to statistics released Monday by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In a year that saw huge Black Lives Matter protests which helped force a reckoning on racism, reports of hate crimes against Black Americans rose 40 percent, from 1,972 to 2,755, the data showed.

Meanwhile, attacks against Americans of Asian heritage surged 70 percent with 274 incidents in 2020 against 161 in 2019, seemingly confirming a trend reported by the community since the start of the Covid pandemic.

The statistics spotlight the urgent need for a comprehensive response, Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

The FBI though called for hasty conclusions not to be drawn, pointing out that over time, different levels of public participation could be behind the alarming data.

More than half of the reported offenses were intimidation. But 18 percent of the attacks were serious assaults and 22 homicides were motivated by hate.

The latter figure is lower than the 52 murders recorded in 2019, a year of mourning for the El Paso shooting on the border with Mexico which killed 23 victims, mostly Hispanics.

In the United States, “hate-motivated crime” usually refers to an act directed against a person because of certain characteristics of their identity.

This aggravating circumstance automatically results in a heavier sentence, but it is difficult to prove in court.

Coalition Of Northern Groups Demand Review Of Kyari’s Suspension

Mr Abba Kyari

 

The Coalition of Northern Groups has kicked against the suspension of the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Abba Kyari following his indictment by a US Court.

Spokesman of the Coalition – comprising civil society organisations and non-governmental bodies – Abdulazeez Sulaiman spoke on behalf of the groups at a news conference after its meeting in Kaduna state on Sunday.

He noted that both the Nigerian police authorities and the FBI breached Kyari ‘s fundamental rights by not allowing him to be heard before taking the hasty actions against him.

They have, therefore, demanded an immediate review of the suspension and have also asked that the ongoing investigation with the FBI be transferred to the Nigerian Intelligence Agency.

Mr Kyari was suspended by the Police Service Commission last Sunday following his indictment in the case of alleged fraud linked to popular socialite, Ramon Abbas, a.k.a Hushpuppi.

According to a statement by the commission’s Head of Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, the suspension was conveyed in a letter signed by Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired justice of the Supreme Court.

It took effect from July 31, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation.

The commission also directed the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to furnish it with information on further developments on the matter for necessary further action.

According to documents unsealed over a week ago in the US, Mr Kyari had arrested and jailed one Chibuzo Vincent, at the behest of Hushpuppi.

He also allegedly sent Hushpuppi bank account details into which he (Hushpuppi) could deposit payment for Vincent’s arrest and imprisonment.

Mr Kyari, in a Facebook post on Thursday, however, denied the allegations.

Alleged dispute

On July 28, the US Department of Justice had announced that Hushpuppi had been involved “in an elaborate scheme to steal more than $1.1 million from a business person attempting to finance the construction of a school for children in Qatar.”

Six persons were indicted in the investigation.

In laundering the proceeds of the Qatar operation, a dispute broke out among members of the conspiracy, courts documents said.

The dispute allegedly prompted Vincent – one of the members, to contact the victim and inform them of the scam operation.

After this contact, Hushpuppi allegedly arranged to have Vincent jailed in Nigeria by Kyari.

Kyari was also alleged to have provided third-party bank accounts to receive payment for the illegal arrest.

In his defence, he said Vincent had been arrested only because Hushpuppi claimed that he (Vincent) had seriously threatened to attack his family in Nigeria but he was eventually released on bail after no actual threats were discovered.

“Nobody demanded a kobo from Abbas Hushpuppi.

“Our focus was to save people’s lives that were purported to have been threatened,” Kyari said.”

ANOM: The App At The Heart Of The FBI’s Major Global Phone Sting

Law enforcement agencies from three continents on Tuesday revealed a vast FBI-led sting.

 

 

Law enforcement agencies from three continents on Tuesday revealed a vast FBI-led sting operation that sold thousands of supposedly encrypted mobile phones to criminal organisations and intercepted their messages for years.

Police accounts and unsealed US court documents, first cited by Vice News, reveal an ambitious worldwide plot that was years in the making.

What is ANOM?

ANOM was billed as a fully secure encrypted mobile phone that promised the user total secrecy in communications.

Essentially it was a jailbroken handset that used a modified operating system — removing any of the normal text, phone or GPS services that would make it trackable and traceable.

On the surface, the device would look like a normal mobile phone, but it contained a “secure” messaging service hidden behind a functioning calculator app.

In theory, the phone operated on a closed network — ANOM phones could only communicate with other ANOM phones using “military grade” encryption that transferred data via secure proxy servers.

The phones also contained a kill switch to delete contacts or any other data stored locally.

Similar services like Phantom Secure, Sky Global, Ciphr, and EncroChat have for years been used by criminal networks for planning and communication — and many have been exploited by law enforcement.

Where did the FBI come in?

In March 2018 Phantom Secure’s CEO Vincent Ramos was indicted by grand jury and along with colleagues would eventually plead guilty to a raft of charges related to drug trafficking.

Shortly after that, an unnamed “confidential human source” presented the FBI with a next-generation encrypted device — that would be dubbed ANOM — which was designed to replace discredited, defunct or infiltrated systems.

The same source agreed to disseminate the now FBI-compromised devices among a network of blackmarket distributors who had sold Phantom Secure to carefully vetted or vouched-for individuals, usually members of organised criminal gangs.

Why did criminals buy it?

Initially, 50 ANOM phones were distributed in a test run, mostly to members of Australian organised criminal gangs.

But through word of mouth they gained in popularity with criminal underworld figures, who reportedly recommended them to friends.

Interest in ANOM exploded in 2020 when European authorities rolled up EncroChat, with dozens arrested, and after Sky Global CEO Jean Francois Eap was detained.

In the end, the FBI, Australian authorities and an unnamed “third country” were able to access more than 20 million messages from 11,800 devices in 90 countries.

They were most popular in Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Australia and Serbia.

Why did the operation stop?

There is no clear rationale given about why the operation stopped now. However a mixture of suspicions, legal hurdles and strategy may have contributed.

Law enforcement did not have real-time access to phone activity but instead, all sent messages were blind copied or ‘BCCed’ to FBI servers where they were decrypted.

 

FBI saw devices with the ANOM app.

 

One server was in a third country where the warrant was due to expire on June 7, 2021.

But even ahead of that deadline, suspicions were being raised.

In March “canyouguess67” posted on WordPress that ANOM was a “scam” and that a device he had tested was “in constant contact with” Google servers and relayed data to non-secure servers in Australia and the United States.

“I was quite concerned to see the amount of IP addresses relating to many corporations within the 5 eyes Governments (Australia, USA, Canada, UK, NZ who share information with one another),” the post said before it was deleted.

In addition, one stated aim for “Operation Trojan Shield” was to undermine trust in encrypted devices, a goal that could only be widely achieved when the operation was made public.

Abidemi Rufai Indicted For Conspiracy, Wire Fraud And Aggravated Identity Theft

 

 Acting U.S. Attorney Tessa M. Gorman has announced that Abidemi Rufai who was arrested May 14, 2021, at JFK Airport in New York, has now been indicted for conspiracy, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft for his scheme to steal over $350,000 in unemployment benefits from the Washington State Employment Security Department. 

Mr. Rufai, aka Sandy Tang, 42, remains detained at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York. Prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Benjamin Settle to order Rufai detained and transported to the Western District of Washington for arraignment on the indictment.

Rufai is now charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, nine counts of wire fraud, and five counts of aggravated identity theft.

The indictment alleges that Rufai used the stolen identities of more than 100 Washington residents to file fraudulent claims with ESD for pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

Other indictments include that “Rufai also filed fraudulent unemployment claims with Hawaii, Wyoming, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, and Pennsylvania. Rufai used variations of a single e-mail address in a manner intended to evade automatic detection by fraud systems. By using this practice, Rufai made it appear that each claim was connected with a different email account.

READ ALSO: Ogun Governor Suspends Aide Arrested For Alleged Fraud In US

“Rufai caused the fraud proceeds to be paid out to online payment accounts such as ‘Green Dot’ accounts, or wired to bank accounts controlled by “money mules.” Some of the proceeds were then mailed to the Jamaica, New York address of Rufai’s brother. Rufai was residing at his brother’s home during part of the period of the fraud. Law enforcement determined more than $288,000 was deposited into an American bank account controlled by Rufai between March and August 2020.”

Conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud are punishable by up to thirty years in prison when the offense relates to benefits paid in connection with a presidentially declared disaster or emergency, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Aggravated identity theft is punishable by a mandatory minimum two-year sentence to run consecutive to any sentence imposed on the other counts of conviction.

The charges contained in the indictment are only allegations. A person is presumed innocent unless and until he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the FBI, with assistance from the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG). The fraud on ESD is being investigated cooperatively by the FBI, DOL-OIG, Social Security Office of Inspector General, U.S. Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. The Washington Employment Security Department is cooperating in the investigation.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Seth Wilkinson, Cindy Chang, and Benjamin Diggs of the Western District of Washington, and Trial Attorney Jane Lee of DOJ’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS).

FBI Received 443 Internet Crime Complaints From Nigeria In 2020 – Report

In this file photo, a woman uses a laptop on April 3, 2019. ISSOUF SANOGO / AFP

 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) received a total of 443 internet crime complaints from Nigeria in 2020.

This was contained in the 2020 Internet Crime Report of the United States intelligence agency’s Internet Crime Complaint Centre (IC3) report published on Wednesday.

According to the report, Nigeria has the same number of complaints as Pakistan and ranks 16th ahead of China (442), Colombia (418), and Hong Kong (407) in a list of 20 countries.

The United Kingdom topped the list with 216,633 complaints and is followed by Canada (5,399), India (2,930), Greece (2,314), Australia (1,807), South Africa (1,754), and France (1,640).

Other countries are Germany (1,578), Mexico (1,164), Belgium (1,023), Brazil (951), the Philippines (898), Italy (728), Spain (618), and Netherlands (450).

While complaints from the U.S. were given a special focus and broken down according to the states, the report comprised information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime.

The latest figure indicates an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019 and losses exceeding $4.2 billion.

Phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, as well as extortion, were the top-three crimes reported by victims in the year under review.

Similarly, victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes, as well as investment fraud.

Part of the text accompanying the report read,

Notably, 2020 saw the emergence of scams exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. The IC3 received over 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19, with fraudsters targeting both businesses and individuals.

In addition to statistics, the IC3’s 2020 Internet Crime Report contains information about the most prevalent internet scams affecting the public and offers guidance for prevention and protection.

It also highlights the FBI’s work combating internet crime, including recent case examples.

Finally, the 2020 Internet Crime Report explains the IC3, its mission, and functions. The IC3 gives the public a reliable and convenient mechanism to report suspected internet crime to the FBI.

The FBI analyses and shares information from submitted complaints for investigative and intelligence purposes, for law enforcement, and for public awareness.

With the release of the 2020 Internet Crime Report, the FBI wants to remind the public to immediately report suspected criminal internet activity to the IC3 at ic3.gov.

By reporting internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement to the activity but aiding in the overall fight against cybercrime.

Nigeria Ranks 16th In FBI’s List Of Countries Worst Affected By Internet Crimes

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center has released its annual report.

The 2020 Internet Crime Report includes information from 791,790 complaints of suspected internet crime—an increase of more than 300,000 complaints from 2019—and reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion.

State-specific statistics have also been released and can be found within the 2020 Internet Crime Report and in the accompanying 2020 State Reports.

According to the report, Nigeria is ranked 16th worst affected country.

Other countries that ranked better than Nigeria are Pakistan, China, Columbia, and Hong Kong.

Apart from Nigeria, South Africa was also listed among the ‘worst’ 20. South Africa rated sixth with 1,754 victims while Nigeria had 443 victims.

READ ALSO: Three Soldiers, Five Villagers Killed As Bandits Attack Zamfara LGA

The top three crimes reported by victims in 2020 were phishing scams, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion. Victims lost the most money to business email compromise scams, romance and confidence schemes, and investment fraud. Notably, 2020 saw the emergence of scams exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic. The IC3 received over 28,500 complaints related to COVID-19, with fraudsters targeting both businesses and individuals.

Infographic depicting the number of complaints to the Internet Crime Complaint Center in 2020 (791,790) compared to 2019 (467,361).
In addition to statistics, the IC3’s 2020 Internet Crime Report contains information about the most prevalent internet scams affecting the public and offers guidance for prevention and protection. It also highlights the FBI’s work combating internet crime, including recent case examples. Finally, the 2020 Internet Crime Report explains the IC3, its mission, and functions.

The IC3 gives the public a reliable and convenient mechanism to report suspected internet crime to the FBI. The FBI analyzes and shares information from submitted complaints for investigative and intelligence purposes, for law enforcement, and for public awareness.

With the release of the 2020 Internet Crime Report, the FBI wants to remind the public to immediately report suspected criminal internet activity to the IC3 at ic3.gov. By reporting internet crime, victims are not only alerting law enforcement to the activity but aiding in the overall fight against cybercrime.

Two FBI Agents Dead, Three Wounded In Florida Shooting

Police officers work near the scene of a shooting that wounded several FBI agents in Florida, Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.

 

Two FBI agents were shot dead and three were wounded on Tuesday while serving a search warrant on a suspect in a child pornography case in the southern US state of Florida, the FBI said.

The suspect is also dead, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

The FBI and media reports said the shooting took place around 6:00 am in Sunrise, Florida, when agents arrived to execute a search warrant at the suspect’s home.

“Two FBI Agents are deceased and three are wounded,” the FBI said.

Two of the wounded agents were taken to hospital and are in stable condition, it said.

 

Police officers work near the scene of a shooting that wounded several FBI agents in Sunrise, Fla., Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021.

A law enforcement source told the Miami Herald that the suspect had shot and killed himself after barricading himself in his home for several hours.

The newspaper said the FBI agents had been seeking to seize the suspect’s computer and other evidence in a child pornography case.

FBI Warns Of Possible US Election Violence In Protest-Riven Portland

 

 

The FBI has warned of the potential for armed clashes linked to Tuesday’s US election in Portland, as the northwestern city that has become symbolic of the country’s stark divisions braces for unrest.

The liberal enclave in the state of Oregon is still reeling from a summer that saw mass anti-racism rallies inflamed by the arrival of federal officers and right-wing militias, including the so-called Proud Boys.

Tuesday’s fiercely polarized vote — which could see President Donald Trump reelected, or defeated by his Democratic rival Joe Biden — has spurred fears of more deadly street violence.

Downtown businesses were boarding up windows once again as protests are planned for either a Trump or a Biden win — or a state of limbo, with delays in the vote-counting expected nationwide due to a surge in mail-in voting during the pandemic.

“The thing that is the most concerning to me is the potential for armed clashes between opposing groups,” FBI Portland Special Agent Renn Cannon told AFP.

“That could escalate into a dangerous situation where — if tempers are heated — you could end up with an unfortunate or tragic act of violence,” he added, pointing to a deadly shooting of a far-right supporter in the city in August.

The 250-strong Portland office has devoted additional resources to election crimes including voter suppression as well as fraud and foreign cyber threats, said Cannon.

Meanwhile Governor Kate Brown on Monday issued an executive order handing Portland policing to state forces — effectively overruling the city’s ban on tear gas — and putting the National Guard on standby.

“This is an election like no other in our lifetime,” she warned.

– ‘Wild card situation’ –

Brown’s warnings about white supremacists have drawn scorn from local conservatives including talk-radio host Lars Larson, who Monday accused her of “deafening silence” about “Antifa and Black Lives Matter violence” over five months of protests.

But while Oregon is a safe Democratic state, Portland’s Republican hinterland has made it a focus for protests from all ideologies, with further demonstrators flying in from across the country this summer.

FBI agents are being “extra attentive” to any threats that could “reduce the ability for people to exercise their first amendment rights or exercise the right to vote,” said Cannon.

Officials’ fears of renewed violence were echoed by voters Monday, including restaurant cook Leigh Smith.

“I’ve seen everybody’s boarding up already and I’m like ‘oh geez,'” said the 35-year-old, after mailing her ballot near the downtown courthouse that became an epicenter of earlier demonstrations.

“It’s really a wild card situation. It could be really chill… it could become chaotic.”

One cause for optimism is that Oregon votes entirely by mail, making lengthy voting lines that could be targeted unlikely on Tuesday, said Cannon.

Of greater concern are multiple protests planned in Oregon for the aftermath of a vote which may not yield a result for days or even weeks, he added.

“Whether or not those will have an armed component or not, I don’t know,” said Cannon, with no specific threats currently identified.

– ‘Prepared’ for violence –

One group organizing a rally — the left-wing Democratic Socialists of America’s Portland branch — told AFP it was “prepared for right-wing street violence to express frustration about their candidate not winning” if Joe Biden triumphs.

“It’s our duty to show up and counter them,” said co-chair Olivia Katbi Smith, adding that if protesters fail to mobilize in numbers, militias “will actually drive around and assault people.”

DSA Portland does not advocate for armed response to right-wing extremists, she added.

If Trump tries to claim an illegitimate victory, Katbi Smith hopes liberal groups will bring out protest numbers approaching the tens of thousands who attended Portland’s 2017 women’s rights march.

“We’re going to go forward with specific demands about democracy,” said Katbi Smith, including Trump’s removal or a new vote.

She added: “There will be right-wing mobilizations against us after the election.”

UN Expert Urges FBI To Probe Reporter’s Death In South Sudan

(FILES) In this file photo, The United Nations flag is seen during the Climate Action Summit 2019 at the United Nations General Assembly Hall on September 23, 2019, in New York City. Ludovic MARIN / AFP.

 

Three years on from the killing of US-British journalist Christopher Allen in South Sudan, a UN rights expert on Tuesday urged the FBI to step up and conduct an investigation.

Allen, 26, a freelance reporter, was embedded with rebel fighters and fatally shot in the head during a battle with the South Sudanese army in late August 2017.

“The fact that for three whole years there has been no independent investigation into Mr. Allen’s killing sends a very dangerous signal that journalists and media workers can be targeted with impunity,” said Agnes Callamard, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

“The governments of South Sudan and the United States can and must take steps to ensure that the circumstances of Mr. Allen’s murder are fully, independently and fearlessly investigated,” she said in a statement.

“The FBI has a duty, both legal and moral, to investigate Mr. Allen’s killing because of well-founded suspicions that war crimes may have been committed by members of South Sudanese forces,” she said.

United Nations experts do not speak for the UN but report their findings to it.

South Sudan’s six-year civil war erupted in December 2013, just two years after it obtained independence from Sudan. The war left 380,000 dead and millions displaced.

Callamard said at least 10 other journalists had been killed with impunity during the civil war.

“Mr. Allen’s murder is indicative of the wider climate of hostility towards journalists in the country,” she said.

The rapporteur noted she had written to the South Sudanese authorities on January 30 this year asking about an investigation but had received no response.

Washington said it had raised concerns with the South Sudan government, while London voiced concerns about the lack of an investigation, said Callamard.

She, therefore, urged the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to conduct its own inquiry.

AFP

Wanted Fraudster On FBI List Sentenced To Two Years Imprisonment

A photo released by the EFCC shows Abiona Festus who was sentenced to two years imprisonment for internet fraud.

 

An internet fraudster on the wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the United States Department of Justice has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.

Abiona Festus was convicted and sentenced by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Lagos State Special Offences Court in Ikeja on Tuesday.

He was prosecuted by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the agency’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, said in a statement.

Oyewale explained that the FBI, in a petition dated July 10, 2019, had appealed to the Ilorin zonal office of the EFCC to ensure Festus’ arrest and prosecution, for his roles in a multi-million naira international scam.

One of the charges read, “That you Abiona Akinyemi Festus (Ella Jones), sometime between January 2011- May 2016 at Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court by means of fraudulent trick used the email address [email protected] to bypass online security and obtained the sum of N5,950,000 (Five Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira), only from retirement accounts, held by an insurance company for public workers in the United States of America.”

When the charges were read to him during his arraignment, Festus pleaded guilty.

Thereafter, the EFCC Head of Advance Fee Fraud at the Ilorin zonal office, Olamide Sadiq, reviewed the facts of the case, which included that defendant was arrested based on a petition from the FBI linking him to the offence.

Justice Taiwo then convicted him as charged and sentenced him to one year imprisonment on each of the two counts, with a N300,000 option of fine on each of the counts.

The judge also ordered him to return the sums of money he cornered to the FBI.

 

Soldier Arrested For Cybercrime?

In an earlier statement, Oyewale said EFCC operatives have arrested a serving soldier, Lance Corporal Ajayi Kayode, and 26 others for alleged internet fraud in the Lekki area of Lagos State.

A photo released by the EFCC shows the soldiers and others paraded for alleged cybercrime in Lagos.

 

Kayode, with service number NAF18/34732, was reportedly arrested in his military uniform during an early morning raid at 6B, Fatai Idowu Arobike, Lekki Phase 1, Lagos, on Saturday last week.

According to the EFCC spokesman, the arrest followed intelligence received from concerned members of the public about his alleged involvement in criminal activities.

The soldier was arrested alongside Kalu Emmanue, Hassan Sunday, Odinaka Okem, Victor Ochiabuito, Christopher Prince, Victor Ologhu, Alex Aka, Miracle Onyekwere, Habeeb Ayomide, Olakunle Ajeigbu, Rasheed Olanrewaju, and Salam Hakeem.

Others are Adeniran Nurudeen, Opeyemi Chris, Derrick Moris, Shehu Oluoti, Fuad Akinbayo, Babatunde Idowu, Uzo Nathaniel, Debowale Adedoyin, Shegun Emmanuel, Godswill Maduchem, Samson Kazeem, Oluwatobi Oluwatoba, Olaitan Ajao, and Oyindamola Kareem.

Kayode was said to have confessed that suspects in whose company he was arrested were his friends, adding that they had been teaching him how to make money through cybercrime.

Rescuing Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse

 

 

With every report to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and every law enforcement investigation dealing with child sexual abuse material, a largely unseen—but urgent—effort begins to identify and aid the child or children being harmed in the images.

It is an effort that relies on technology and painstaking investigative work—where details as small as a baseball cap or a soda cup have provided the clues that allowed investigators to find a child.

At the FBI, the Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP) works alongside Operation Rescue Me to explore every possible avenue in identifying a child victim of sexual abuse. Operation Rescue Me is focused on rescuing the child victim from further abuse and exploitation. In pursuit of that same goal, ECAP seeks national and international exposure of unknown adults whose faces and/or distinguishing characteristics are visible in images of child sexual abuse.

Special Agent Karen Jurden, who heads both programs within the FBI’s Violent Crime Section, explained the two programs this way: “Our goal is to identify victims. But if we’ve exhausted everything we can do on the child, and we have an image where an adult does appear, we will pursue that angle.”

She stressed that the adults featured on ECAP are not always suspected of wrongdoing. “We know that person has knowledge of the victim,” she said.

You can view images of adults of interest in current cases on the ECAP site and below. There are also a number of images that show items in the background of an image or something a child or an adult is wearing.

“There is nothing better than knowing publicity has helped our agents solve one of these cases and identify a child.”

Chris Allen, chief, FBI Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit
With a larger number of eyes on these pictures, there is a greater likelihood that someone will spot a person or item they recognize and help point law enforcement in the right direction.

“Every time we have a new case, it draws people’s attention to older cases as well,” Jurden said. “People have helped us solve older cases that way.”

“For every ECAP case we work on, we use every available publicity tool to ensure the maximum number of people will see the images,” said Chris Allen, chief of the FBI’s Investigative Publicity and Public Affairs Unit. “There is nothing better than knowing publicity has helped our agents solve one of these cases and identify a child.”

The Effort to Identify Every Child Victim

When the FBI (or any law enforcement agency) seizes child sexual abuse material from an offender—and Jurden said many offenders have hundreds or thousands of files—the FBI brings the material to NCMEC.

NCMEC runs a digital scan that checks the material against images and videos that already exist in their system, explained Shelley Allwang, manager of NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program. The process allows NCMEC to see which victims are already known to them.

These children have either already been reached or NCMEC is actively working with law enforcement both domestically and internationally to identify them.

The most pressing goal, Allwang said, is to find “the children we have never seen before because these could be children who are being victimized right now.”

Allwang said NCMEC has a number of high-tech and human tools to help in the process of identifying these victims, but if they reach a dead-end, they return the case to the investigators who brought them the material. “We are not law enforcement,” Allwang stressed, “so we can only use the tools we have.”

If the file began with an FBI case, the charge of identifying that still unknown victim comes back to FBI agents and becomes an active case within the Operation Rescue Me program and possibly ECAP.

Jurden and Allwang both acknowledge that the number of these cases and the volume of images can give rise to feelings of both fury and hopelessness. But while the scale of the crime is daunting, these cases are not being lumped together by law enforcement or by NCMEC. The two groups are committed to the heartbreaking work of cataloging each image and finding the children in them.

“If you look at the totality, you won’t sleep at night,” Jurden said. “The answer is to take it case by case. It is rewarding to wake up each day and know you’re doing something. And to know I’m not the only one doing this.”

Allwang also said she is comforted both by thinking of her impact on individual children and by the knowledge that there is a global network of people who are fighting alongside her. “So many people from so many different professions are invested in solving this problem—technology companies, law enforcement, advocates, media, prosecutors, judges,” Allwang said. “They are all motivated by the mission.”

Allwang said she is also moved by the bravery and resilience she sees in survivors of child sexual abuse. “I see the worst of humanity,” she said. “But I also see the best.”

The FBI began ECAP in 2004 and it has investigated 41 cases to date. The program has successfully identified 28 of the individuals profiled and found 45 child victims. The remaining cases remain active investigations. And the FBI will stay on them—case by case, child by child.

How to Help

Make a report regarding child sexual exploitation using NCMEC’s CyberTipline.
Learn how NCMEC can help remove child sexual abuse material online and more at the Get Help Now section of their website.

Review the FBI’s and NCMEC’s free resources to help parents and children learn more about staying safe.

Learn more about online exploitation. While hands-on abuse is almost always carried out by someone in a child’s immediate orbit, children can be exploited online by a predator who lives anywhere.

ECAP

On February 21, 2004, the FBI began its Endangered Child Alert Program (ECAP) as a new proactive approach to identifying unknown individuals involved in the sexual abuse of children and the production of child sexual abuse material.

A collaborative effort between the FBI and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, ECAP seeks national and international exposure of unknown adults (referred to as John/Jane Does) whose faces and/or distinguishing characteristics are visible in child sexual abuse material.