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Banks investigated as cyber crime soars

15 January 2014, 09:33Henry Ifeanyi

Lagos - The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it was investigating banks amid allegations these financial institutions were complicit in the prevalence of cybercrime.

EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, disclosed that about ten commercial banks, all based in Lagos, were  being investigated for cybercrime cases ranging from illegal transfer of money through the internet, by-passing the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Bureau (NIFIU) or other related security agency.

He said several banks, which allegedly had insiders conniving with the suspects, were being directly investigated.

The anti-graft agency, Larmode said, had cautioned five Lagos-based banks on the issue.

The revelations come amid the country’s two anti-corruption agencies have reported increasing cases of cyber crime in the country.

EFCC and the Special Fraud Unit (SFU) of the Nigeria Police said the number of such cases was growing daily.

The SFU reported that banks were the most affected by the crimes.

Speaking on the issue at a forum in Lagos, EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde, said in 2013, more than 100 cases of cyber crimes were reported to the commission.

According to Lamorde, the number represented an increase in the previous year where “fewer” cases of cyber crime were reported to the commission.

Lamorde noted that investigations on the cases are at various advanced stages while some of the suspects had been apprehended and charged to court.

He said that about 50 of such cases were currently before several courts in Lagos.

Confirming the growing trend, the SFU recently revealed it was handling more than 197 cyber fraud cases.

Tunde Ogunsakin, a Police Commissioner and Head of the SFU said the unit had been overwhelmed by cases of cyber crime.

“We are treating a large number of cybercrime cases. A majority of these cases are reported in Lagos and Abuja,” he said.

– CAJ News

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