EFCC Uncovers Underage Internet Fraud Scheme in Edo State

EFCC uncovers underage boys in Edo State, Nigeria, falsifying ages to open bank accounts and obtain driver's licenses for internet fraud. The Commission vows to hold accountable government agencies, individuals, and parents complicit in the forgery.

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EFCC Uncovers Underage Internet Fraud Scheme in Edo State

EFCC Uncovers Underage Internet Fraud Scheme in Edo State

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has uncovered a disturbing trend of underage boys engaging in internet fraud, popularly known as "yahoo yahoo," in Edo State, Nigeria. These minors are falsifying their age to open bank accounts and obtain driver's licenses, enabling them to launder their illegal proceeds.

Why this matters: The prevalence of underage internet fraud in Edo State highlights the need for stronger measures to prevent minors from engaging in illegal activities and for parents to take greater responsibility for their children's actions. If left unchecked, this trend could lead to a rise in cybercrime and undermine efforts to combat fraud in Nigeria.

Despite its small size, Edo State ranks second only to Lagos in terms of convictions for internet fraud. Effa Okim, the EFCC Zonal Director in charge of Edo, Delta, and Ondo States, revealed the extent of the problem during a courtesy visit to the Edo State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Benin City. "Crime, what we call 'yahoo yahoo' is visible in our streets... it is so visible that it is disturbing," Okim stated.

The EFCC has found that underage boys are declaring false ages to obtain driver's licenses and open bank accounts, which they use to facilitate their criminal activities. "When you hear that a 12-year-old boy has been sent to jail, that in law he is not supposed to go because he is underage but it happens here often because they go and agree with some authorities and do age declaration stating that they are 18 just to enable them to open an account and put their criminal structures in place," Okim explained.

The Commission has vowed to go after government agencies and individuals who issue false documents to these underage criminals. Parents who claim their children are underage when convicted will also be held accountable for their complicity in the forgery. "We are asking them 'where were you when he got his driver's licence, where were you when your underage son opened an account?' because in the Nigerian law an underage cannot open an account, where were you when your son was spending money in an irresponsible manner?" Okim questioned.

The EFCC is committed to partnering with the media to reduce the visibility of crime on the streets. Okim urged parents to take responsibility for their children's actions and report any suspicious activities. The Commission's efforts to tackle underage internet fraud in Edo State serve as a stark reminder of the challenges faced in combating cybercrime in Nigeria.

Key Takeaways

  • EFCC uncovers underage boys engaging in internet fraud in Edo State, Nigeria.
  • Minors falsify age to open bank accounts and obtain driver's licenses for fraud.
  • Edo State ranks 2nd in internet fraud convictions, despite its small size.
  • EFCC vows to hold accountable gov't agencies and parents who aid underage criminals.
  • Commission partners with media to reduce crime visibility and urges parental responsibility.