EFCC Chairman Abdulrasheed Bawa has revealed that the commission keeps cryptocurrency loot recovered from internet fraudsters in the commission’s e-wallet.
Disclosing this in an interview with Channels TV on Tuesday, the EFCC boss said the commission had about $20 million worth of recovered cryptocurrencies in its e-wallet.
According to Mr Bawa, cybercriminals who used international money transfer platforms like MoneyGram and Western Union in the past now use digital currencies to get the proceeds of their dubious transactions.
“We have seen time and time again where cybercriminals are using this avenue to get their proceeds of crime before it used to be through money transfer agencies like money gram and of cause western union. Now they have gone E.
“They will defraud somebody. They will get gift cards and exchange them on the dark web, and they will use the proceeds to buy crypto, and they can get it to their e-wallet, and then, of course, they can sell and get their money,” Mr Bawa explained.
Speaking further, he noted, “As it is today, we have about 20 million worth of cryptocurrency as of last statistics that I have because we also created our own e-wallet to recover cryptocurrency you know it has never happened before but we created it we are now recovering these proceeds of crime from that means as well.”
Applauding the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cryptocurrency restrictions, Mr Bawa said it limited internet fraudsters’ ability to convert it to naira.
The CBN had in February banned Nigerians from buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
In a circular seen by Peoples Gazette, the bank ordered deposit money banks, non-bank financial institutions, and other financial institutions to “identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”
However, CBN in June disclosed plans to launch its own digital currency by the end of 2021.
Meanwhile, the EFCC in April warned Nigerians against investing in fraudulent investment schemes that promise high returns to investors.