A 38-year old man, Festus Akinyemi Abiona, indicted by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, for alleged involvement in internet fraud to the tune of $2.5 million and who has been on the wanted list of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for over eight months, has been arrested by the Ilorin Zonal Office of the commission.
Luck however ran out on Abiona, who was also indicted by the EFCC for fraud, as operatives of the agency smoked him out of his hiding on February 6, in his beautifully built duplex in Arepo, Ogun State.
He had gone into hiding and deliberately refused to step out of his house, when he got wind of the fact that the EFCC was investigating him and had remained in hiding for the past five months.
In the FBI petition dated July 10, 2019, it was alleged that he was involved in Business Email Compromise, BEC, and other internet-related fraud.
The petition stated further, “In May 2016, the FBI received information that an actor or actors bypassed online security to steal money from retirement accounts held by an insurance company for Public Workers in the United States, which resulted in the loss of approximately $2,500,000.
“The accounts contained numerous communications between Abiona and other criminal co-conspirators seeking to commit business email compromise (BEC), Tax Refund Fraud, and other Computer enabled fraud.”
Investigation into the case by the Commission revealed that a syndicate that involved Abiona perpetrated the fraud and millions of naira were traced to his bank accounts and some of the emails used in perpetrating the fraud have been taken over from the suspect.
The suspect, on sighting operatives of the EFCC flushed all his SIM cards into the toilet and destroyed all his Automated Teller Machines, ATM cards in order to destroy evidence.
He has also refused to give a statement since his arrest, but he will soon be arraigned in court, according to the EFCC.