In a bid to fight against real estate crimes, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has EFCC tells the media on being determined to fight against real estate crimes by calling for stronger cooperation and collaboration with the press in the fight against increasing rates of real estate frauds, money laundering and internet crimes in the country.
The acting Chairman of the EFCC , Abdulkarim Chukkol, frowned at the rate of involvement of Nigerians in internet crimes and money laundering practices both within and outside the country in recent times.
Abdulkarim Chukkol who spoke through the Assistant zonal Commander 1 of EFCC, Uyo Zonal Command, Bawa Hamidu Saidu, said on Thursday at a workshop in Akwa Ibom State organized for journalists on the topic, “Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes”
He expressed gratitude to journalists across the country for their efforts so far in reporting the activities of the commission especially in the area of arrests and arraignments, assuring that the EFCC is set and committed to cub the rising real estate crimes in the country.
He also urged members of the public to be mindful of some set of people who always pretend to be EFCC officials to unlawfully collect money from them.
“The rising incidences of real estate and internet related cases have become worrisome. The real estate sector has been identified as a strong money laundering practice in Nigeria,” , the Chairman said.
In his remarks the Assistant Director Media and Publicity, EFCC, Mr Dele Oyewale expressed delighted that the commission’s interventions have been able to reduce upsurge in cybercrimes in the country despite the various challenges it faces in the fight against Economic and financial crimes.
Oyewale who spoke not long after his lecture presentation on “Investigative journalism and Nigeria’s Fight against Money Laundering”, advised journalists to remain unbiased in the course of their investigation but to always put on the garment of professionalism.
He said: “We are committed to ensuring that cyber crime activities are brought to the barest minimum. Yes there are challenges but the commission is far ahead of those challenges.”
Recall that the EFCC had earlier this year, in a workshop held in Abuja on April 25, 2022 stated their commitment to fight against money laundering in the real estate sector through the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML.
According to the former Chairman of the commission, Mr. AbdulRasheed Bawa, the Nigeria Evaluation Report shows that the real estate sector is the second most susceptible sector to money laundering practices in Nigeria. According to him, cities like Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Lagos are some of the major cities where landed properties are regularly purchased mostly in cash and sometimes in foreign currencies, with no questions asked by anyone, about the legality of such financial transactions.
Bawa, who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Hadiza Gamawa Zubairu, in 2022, stated that, based on the existing trends in the real estate sector, the EFCC will not leave any stone unturned in fighting money laundering activities in the sector. “Just last year in July, the EFCC launched an App called “The Eagle Eye” which has eased the processes of reporting economic and financial crimes and also exposed the flow of illegal funds in the real estate sector. This indeed has provided useful intelligence and goes to show the level of commitment that EFCC has in the real estate sector”.
“On the fight against money laundering issue, I want to use this opportunity to to appeal to the media for more collaboration, more synergy and cooperation with the EFCC at the zonal command and at the Corporate Headquarters.” said Hadiza Gamawa Zubairu.
While presenting his lecture titled: ” Trends, Perculiarities, and challenges of Cybercrime Enforcement in Nigeria” the Assistant Commander, 2, Economic Financial Crime Commission, Emeka Ukpai said that Nigeria has been tagged a breeding ground for this crime because of the rate of involvement of the citizens both home and abroad.