By Edu Abade
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has disclosed that it is currently investigating several cases of investments and Foreign Exchange (Forex) scams involving over N317 billion in Lagos alone.
This followed as it expressed concern that as the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, Lagos has become a booming hub of all manners of economic and financial crimes in the country, insisting that the situation was becoming more worrisome and challenging.
Acting Executive Chairman of the Commission, Abdulkarim Chukkol, stated this in Lagos at the weekend at a one-day workshop for journalists, adding that the EFCC has received over 512, 876 petitions in the state involving investment and Forex scams and that such scams also involved foreign currency amounting to $3.2 million and others in euros and pounds.
While noting that the Lagos Command of the Commission has been the most challenging, the EFCC Chairman, who was represented by the Lagos Zonal Commander, Michael Wetkas, said: “As the economic nerve centre of Nigeria, all manner of economic and financial crimes find the Lagos environment the most perfect location to incubate and bloom.
“Forex scams, business e-mail compromises, investment scams, as well as land and property fraud among others, are some of the financial and economic crimes prevalent in Lagos State.
“As an indication of the magnitude of the challenge, the Lagos Command has received 512,876 petitions on investment and Forex-related scams, involving N317.9 billion and $3.2 million, among other foreign currencies.”
Speaking further, he said: “Most of the cases are under investigation while recoveries running into billions of Naira and millions and thousands of other currencies have been made. While enforcement activities of the commission are directed at the perpetrators of these crimes, we are worried over the ease with which citizens fall prey to the wiles of scammers.”
The commission, however, assured members of the public that it will deploy every available means allowed by the laws of the land to nip the menace in the bud and create a more conducive environment for genuine investments to thrive, not only in Lagos, but also in the entire country.