The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recorded 3,615 convictions in 2022, the commission said Thursday.
EFCC boss Abdulrasheed Bawa stated this during the 62nd Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said various cases of cybercrimes accounted for half of all convictions achieved by the EFCC in the year period.
Quoting him, “In the first full year of the current administration, the EFCC recorded only 195 convictions, that was 2016; in 2017, EFCC recorded 186, we went down; in 2018 we recorded 312 convictions; in 2019, we recorded 1280 convictions, it went up with over 312 percent.
“In 2022, we had COVID so we went down to 976; last year (2021) which was part of my administration, we recorded an unprecedented 2220 convictions and this year, even though it has not ended, we have so far recorded 3615 convictions, unprecedented.
“Every day we carry out these sting operations and we make arrests, investigations and as well as prosecutions. 3,615 and over 50 percent have to do with cybercrime.”
Throwing more lights on the anti-graft agency’s achievements from January to December 2022, Mr Bawa made additional recoveries that included N134,33,759,574.25, $121,769,076.30, £21,020.00, €156,925.00, ¥21,350.00, CFA300,000.00.
He said, “In terms of monetary recoveries for the year under review, from January 1st to October 31st 2022, we recovered N134, 337, 759, 574.25. We have equally recovered $121 million as well as different amounts of Pound Sterling, Euros, Japanese Yen etc.
“For the non-cash assets these are some of the recoveries that we have made; 52 automobiles, electronics, motorcycles, clothing and real estates. These are forfeited assets not cases that are under investigation.”
He said N354 billion was recovered from a company in Lagos, adding that the recovery was made by its zonal office in Lagos state.
He said before arrests were made on matters of cybercrimes, the operatives usually carry out a series of surveillance activities and secured a warrant.
According to him, unlike politically-exposed-persons, whose identities were easily known, information and details of cybercrime suspects were difficult to gather.
In his words, “They are not like a local government chairman or a governor and a commission that you know and have their details.
“Investigating (cybercriminals) you are starting from the unknown and then, to the known. These are not people you will write a letter of activities inviting them; you will not even see them because you do not even know them.
“Investigating them comes with a series of surveillance activities and you have to go arrest them physically and get their details and you move on.”