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$5.3m Fraud: How Scammers Defrauded US Workers, Transferred Funds To Nigeria

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The US government has taken legal action to seize $5.3 million tied to a business email scam that targeted a workers union in Massachusetts.

The Justice Department, on Wednesday, initiated a civil forfeiture action to reclaim about $5,315,746.29 in funds believed to be from a business email scam, along with property associated with the laundering of these proceeds.

In January 2023, a workers union in Dorchester, Massachusetts, lost $6.4 million after receiving a fake email from their investment manager. The email instructed them to change the bank account for the payment.

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The funds were then moved through different international banks and cryptocurrency exchanges.

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In a press release published on the United States Attorney’s Office, District of Massachusetts website on Wednesday, it stated that the US authorities have seized money from seven domestic accounts connected to the scheme.

It reads: “The fraudulently-obtained funds were then allegedly transferred through a series of intermediary bank accounts – with some funds sent, or attempted to be sent, to a cryptocurrency exchange and various bank accounts located in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Nigeria.

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“Investigators were able to trace proceeds of the scheme to seven domestically held bank accounts, the contents of which were subsequently seized by U.S. authorities.

“BEC fraud schemes present a serious threat to businesses and individuals nationwide, causing significant financial and emotional harm to victims by exploiting trusted communication channels they rely upon every day.

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“Today’s civil forfeiture action demonstrates that when victims report such misconduct to the authorities there may be steps we can take to recover stolen funds.

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“We hope today’s action helps restore some level of stability and justice for those impacted by fraud,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy.”

The statement also urged “Members of the public who believe they are victims of a cybercrime – including cryptocurrency scams, romance scams, investment scams and business email compromise (BEC) fraud scams – should contact USAMA.CyberTip@usdoj.gov.”

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Why Only 300 Of 50,000 Hardcore Terrorists Arrested By Military Were Prosecuted – DG, NARC

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Against the backdrop that statistics and records from intelligence agencies show that out of the over 50,000 hardened and hardcore Boko Haram terrorists arrested by the Nigerian Army and other security agencies, only about a paltry 300 of them have been prosecuted, the Director General of the Nigeria Army Resource Centre, Major General Garba Wahab (rtd) has said that the judiciary arm of the government needs to do more if insecurity is to be eradicated in Nigeria.

Hundreds of thousands of innocent Nigerians have been killed, abducted, raped and forcefully enslaved while houses, properties and government facilities were destroyed by these terrorists leading to millions displaced and in IDP camps but when the terrorists are arrested, little or nothing happens to them.

But speaking during a two-day round table discussion in Abuja at the weekend with the theme “Asymmetrical National Security Challenges, the Army, and National Development”, Gen Wahab disclosed that the judiciary must up its ante and perform its sacred role of dishing out deserved purnishment to terrorists to deter impunity.

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READ ALSO: Two Suspects Arrested For Stealing Car From Mosque During Juma’at Prayer

His words, “One of the ways to curb insecurity is that the judiciary must be alive to its responsibilities and the local government authorities should be allowed to function.

“It is regrettable that in a Nigerian court, it will take 20 years for a case to be adjudicated upon and persons who have commited clear and glaring offences to be get just purnishment. That’s what is happening. A former president mentioned it saying It takes 10 years for a simple case of stealing to be decided in Nigeria.”

Wahab insisted that the local governments administration should be allowed to function well in the country pointing out that the localization of security in the country would also help in curbing some crimes.

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What we are asking those in government to do is to find a way of ensuring that the judiciary and local government are allowed to function well. When you allow local government to function, then you can localize the security architecture.

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“In so doing, insecurity issues will be addressed at the battalion level We should go to the battalion level because these battalions serve the state and so they relate with the state and local government. We shouldn’t wait till we get to divisional headquarters whenever there is a problem. Divisional headquarters in most cases are busy attending to five or six States.”

Gen Wahab also called on the political class to avoid a situation where security agencies will feel that criminal elements receive protection even in instances where personnel are killed or injured through ambushes and other attacks thereby demoralizing the commitments of personnel in operations.

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In his remarks, the Executive Director, Defence Space Agency, Prof. Okey Ikechukwu, said the round table seeks to drive a new narrative by getting various segments of Nigeria’s public to see and understand their roles in the wider national ecosystem of synchronized security.

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He said, “We will use the round table to re-emphasise the specific and general roles of the military, particularly the Nigerian army, in the cocktail of structures, activities, and processes that constitute the national security architecture”.

He recalled that in April 2024, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, directed field commanders and troops to be adaptive and embrace innovation to ensure adversaries of the country are brought to their knees.

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Lagbaja had noted that that the nation was in a more volatile and complex period than before and tasked Commanders to be innovative.

He also charged them to restore peace and stability in areas experiencing security challenges across the nation

The round table brought together, senior serving and retired military personnel, the media, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations among other stakeholders in the country?
VANGUARD

 

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PAP Boss, Otuaro, Calls For Unity, Promises To Capture Stakeholders Not Captured

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The administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Dr. Dennis Otuaro, has announced plans to capture critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta region who are currently not benefiting from the interventionist programme.

Otuaro disclosed this Saturday at an ongoing stakeholders meeting in Warri, Delta State.

INFO DAILY reports that engagement meeting, which brought together various stakeholders of the Phase-2 of the PAP, is part of a broader consultation programme designed to refine, redesign and expand the Amnesty Programme.

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The PAP boss said it’s necessary that some irregularities within the current system in the programme are corrected in order to ensure that the benefits of the programme are evenly distributed and accessible to all eligibles.

Otuaro stressed the importance of inclusive development, advocating for foreign scholarships and skill acquisition, extensive training programmes, and empowerment for those who have already undergone training.

Otuaro, while calling for unity among stakeholders, urged them to avoid divisive actions and to communicate any genuine concerns directly to him.

READ ALSO:PAP Administrator, Otuaro, Kicks Start Stakeholders Meeting In Warri, Invites Beneficiaries

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If we can sustain this peace and generate great ideas, I am confident that we can present a compelling case to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” Otuaro stated.

The PAP boss who noted that President Tinubu is committed to the development of the Niger Delta, expressed his belief that with the President’s support, the Amnesty Programme can reach new heights.

Otuaro further outlined strategic initiatives aimed at deepening the impact of the Amnesty Programme, which has been instrumental in fostering peace and development in the Niger Delta region.

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Nigerians To Start Using Three-in-one ID Card August, Says Official

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In two months, Nigerians will begin utilising the services of the proposed three-in-one identity card, the National Identity Management Commission has confirmed.

It said the single multipurpose card combining multiple functions of identity, financial and social services will be made available to citizens across the country by August this year.

A high-ranking member of the implementation team, who asked not to be named, disclosed the new information during an exclusive interview with The PUNCH.

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The official stated that the commission had been working tirelessly to meet its goals, adding that the plan remains on track and would be launched in the upcoming months.

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He also disclosed that the commission has begun the testing and deployment stage.

The official said, “We actually plan for July although there have been a few delays but we are still hopeful that it would come in July. So we are hoping to get it done between July and August. We are still on plan and if there is any shift, the public will know.”

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The official added, “When you are deploying a new technology, there is a lot of work to be done, you need to configure the card, enable the outlet, and enable the wallet to work. We also have to do tests and that is what is ongoing.

“The deployment is ongoing, the portal that people need to access the service has to be deployed, and we have to make sure that it is scaleable and those are the ongoing works.

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“There are integrations that all the banks need to do to enable the card and all of those little details are ongoing. We have that target and we are working extra hard to make sure that we achieve that.”

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On Friday, April 5, 2024, the NIMC announced that it had launched a new card layered with payment capabilities and social service features in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System.

It explained that the identity solution was equipped with payment capability for all types of social and financial services.

According to a statement issued, the initiative represents a collaborative effort to offer increased options for domestic consumers while fostering the delivery of services in a more innovative, cost-effective, and competitive manner.

The identity cards will include a bank-enabled National ID card, a social intervention card, and an optional ECOWAS National Biometric Identity Card.

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