Underage Fraudsters Obtain Bank Accounts, Driving Licences -EFCC

Effa Okim, the Zonal Director of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) overseeing Edo, Delta, and Ondo states, has shed light on how underage internet fraudsters, popularly known as Yahoo Boys, circumvent regulations to perpetrate financial crimes. 

Speaking during a courtesy visit to the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Edo State, Okim revealed alarming trends regarding the exploitation of underage individuals in fraudulent activities.

According to Okim, underage fraudsters often falsify their age to obtain driving licenses, which they then leverage to open bank accounts for the purpose of laundering illicit funds. 

This practice allows them to evade legal repercussions by presenting themselves as adults when engaging in financial transactions.

 Okim expressed concern over the complicity of parents in facilitating these fraudulent activities, questioning their involvement in the process of obtaining licenses and opening bank accounts for their underage children.

“We hear that underage boys are being sent to jail, which is not right in the sight of the law. 

“But most of them declare that they are 18 years old just to enable them to open bank accounts to put their criminal proceeds. 

“When they are arrested, their parents say their children are underage,” Okim remarked, highlighting the need for greater scrutiny and accountability in addressing the root causes of youth involvement in cybercrime.

Okim revealed startling statistics indicating that Edo State ranks second in the country for cyber fraud convictions, trailing only behind Lagos State. 

He expressed concern over the prevalence of cybercriminal activities in Edo State, emphasizing the need for concerted efforts to combat the scourge of internet fraud.

“The perpetrators of the crime that we call Yahoo Yahoo are visible on our streets. 

They are in the hotels and that is disturbing. Besides this, the statistics that we have show that Edo is second after Lagos in terms of conviction,” Okim stated, underscoring the urgency of addressing the underlying factors contributing to the proliferation of cybercrime in the region.

Responding to Okim’s remarks, Festus Alenkhe, the Chairman of Edo NUJ, emphasized the importance of transparency and collaboration between law enforcement agencies and the media in combating financial crimes.

 Alenkhe urged Okim to ensure the timely dissemination of information to journalists, enabling them to effectively report on developments related to cybercrime and other illicit activities.

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