EFCC, Italian Police arrest 62 suspects

"The operation is carried out by illegally, accessing e-mail boxes of Italian and foreign companies through hacking and social engineering techniques that enabled the criminals to meddle in trade relations.

EFCC operatives

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in collaboration with the Italian Police said it arrested 62 people from Nigeria and Cameroon suspected to be members of a cyber criminal organisation.

The EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday said the suspects were responsible for frauds committed against small and medium scale enterprises across the world.

Uwujaren said the raid that led to the arrest of the suspects were carried out in June by 750 officers from Italian, Spanish, Polish, English, Belgian, Georgian, Turkish and Cameroonian police.

He said the group, devoted to laundering activities involving large amounts of money obtained by means of state-of-the-art phishing techniques uses a particular attack called in hacking jargon, ``man-in-the-middle’’.

"The final result of the raid is remarkable with 62 individuals arrested, 82 house searches executed with 40,000 Euros, 30 smart phones, 10 tablets and 15 personal computers seized,” he said.

The spokesman said the EFCC was able to track down three fugitives in their homes in Lagos following information gathered from the Postal and Communications Police in Italy during the raid.He said that computers, mobile phones, SIM cards, several storage media as well as bank documents linked to suspected criminal activities were recovered from the suspects during the raid in Lagos.

According to him, the EFCC has started an independent investigation that will allow it to confirm the connection with the dismantled group through the Italian investigation.

Uwujaren said the investigation would also help to identify new criminal links with South Africa, Ghana, Gambia, China, UAE, Kenya and Spain.

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