By Ononye VC
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that its operatives have arrested Osondu Igwilo, an alleged leader of a criminal network who has been on the wanted list of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since 2018.
The anti-graft agency, in a statement on Monday, said Igwilo was apprehended in Lagos on Thursday along with three others.
They are said to be involved in money laundering and identity theft to the tune of $100 million.
The statement reads, “Fifty-two-year-old Igwilo, who is the alleged leader of a criminal network of ‘catchers’ was arrested alongside Okafor Nnamdi Chris, Nwodu Uchenna Emmanuel and John Anazo Achukwu at a studio in the Sangotedo area of Lagos for alleged fraud, money laundering and identity theft to the tune of about $100m.
“Before their arrest, Igwilo and his accomplices had allegedly been involved in an advance-fee scheme that involved false promises of investment funding by individuals who impersonated some United States of America, USA, bank officials in person and via the internet.
“Investigation revealed that those who fell victims to the suspects’ criminal activities were asked to make certain payments before they could receive their funding.
“It was also revealed that proceeds of the scheme were allegedly laundered through U.S. bank accounts and diverted back to the alleged perpetrators in Nigeria.
” Consequently, Igwilo was placed on the FBI watch list, following a criminal complaint filed against him in the United States District Court, Houston, Texas in December 2016.”
The EFCC said five houses have been recovered from Igwilo in Lagos, adding that the suspects will be charged to court soon.