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General News of Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Source: pulse.ng

EFCC warns hotels to stop helping Yahoo Boys and start reporting them

EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has once again warned hotels across the country to stop accommodating internet fraudsters.

The latest warning comes on the back of the arrest of 56 suspected internet fraudsters in Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The agency said in a statement on Tuesday, September 14, 2021 that the suspects used popular hotels as their hideouts, and were arrested based on verified intelligence and weeks of surveillance.

EFCC said the apprehension of the suspects was frustrated by hotel owners who obstructed agents, including by shutting down power supply.

"Despite the lack of cooperation by the hotel owners, the operatives demonstrated professionalism in ensuring that no one was hurt nor property damaged during the operations, contrary to the narrative in a section of the media," the statement read.

The EFCC has been criticised in the past for executing raids on hotels to arrest suspects, with such raids resulting in the harassment of unintended targets.

But the agency said on Tuesday that there's a worrying trend of hotels actively aiding the operations of internet fraudsters by housing them for long periods, and providing them with internet facilities.

The anti-graft agency warned that the obstruction of law enforcement officers is punishable under the EFCC Act, and claims that hoteliers have no means of knowing who is a fraudster is not known to law.

"If the hoteliers are not enablers of the alleged crimes, as some have demonstrated by offering information to the commission, they are under obligation to cooperate with law enforcement officers carrying out their lawful duties.

"To act otherwise would tantamount to willingly becoming enablers to fraud," the agency said.

10 cars, dozens of mobile phones, laptops, and numerous 'incriminating' documents were recovered from those arrested in Abeokuta.

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