Exclusive: Nigerians have spoilt our country with cybercrime, drugs; Ghanaians cry out
A large contingent of Nigerians has migrated to Ghana where a few of them have continued to flourish in cybercrime and drug-related deals in stern condemnation by Ghanaians who have cried out to security authorities to check the incidence.
Investigations by Political Economist reporter who was in Ghana revealed a growing population of Nigerians leaving Nigeria for Ghana to continue in their Yahoo-Yahoo (cybercrime) deals. Some confided in our reporter that they had to leave Nigeria because of the incessant surveillance and pestering from anti-crime agencies.
They listed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) among anti-crime organs that have stifled their illicit businesses in Nigeria. Some also pointed to increased awareness about their trade among Nigerians which makes it difficult for them to get ‘clients’ or what they call ‘Maga’ (fool) in the under-world parlance.
An officer of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service who spoke anonymously told our reporter that “some Nigerians have been arrested over the past recent years involved in cybercrimes and drug dealings but they are not the only ones. I can confirm to you that some Ghanaians are also among the bad guys we have had to deal with here”.
Ghanaians who spoke to Political Economist insisted that cybercrime was very low or almost non-existent in Ghana until recent years when many Nigerians started moving into the country boosted by the ECOWAS no visa policy.
In recent weeks, Ghana security authorities have arrested some Nigerians for cybercrime and drug offences. For instance, two Nigerians were nabbed when they tried to conceal narcotics inside stock fish called Kaku in Ghana.
The Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) arrested the two Nigerians for attempting to traffic narcotics through the General Post Office in Accra. The suspects: Theophilus Biney, alias Godwin Orji, a. k. a ‘Goody’, 37 years and Jeff Nnaana-K, 36 years, were picked up by officials of NACOB at different locations for their involvement in an attempt to traffic methamphetamine, a narcotic drug (methamphetamine) to the Philippines.
Biney was apprehended after attempting to post the parcels of stockfish, locally known as ‘Kako’, which contained the narcotic drug. The total weight of the narcotic drug is 21.7kgs. He admitted ownership of the package when interrogated and revealed that the parcels were given to him by Jeff Nnaana-K to be sent to one Victor, resident in the Philippines.
Nnaana-K when interrogated disclosed that the consignments were given to him by one Offor based in Nigeria to be given to Theophilus, the sender to be delivered through the Ghana Post Office to one Victor also a Nigerian resident in the Philippines. They have both been arraigned.
Also recently, the Ghana Police Service CID arrested 12 suspected criminals mainly Nigerians and Ghanaians in the biggest ever cyber-crime in recent times in the country.
An Accra Circuit Court remanded in police custody 11 out of the 12 suspected bank fraudsters. The court also ordered the suspects to reappear today (August 9), 2018 to assist police conduct further investigations into the financial crime.
According to the police, all the suspects, believed to be part of a wider cyber-crime syndicate made up of Nigerians and Ghanaians, attempted transferring a whopping GHC326 million from the vault of Universal Merchant Bank (UMB), electronically.
However, the bank detected that the amount was transferred electronically into the internal operational accounts of UMB and subsequently credited to the accounts of certain customers. This the bank after said after detecting the security breaches alerted the Financial Forensics Unit of the CID, who dispatched personnel to all branches of the bank to arrest persons who will visit the branches to withdraw money from some identified accounts credited with the money.
It was discovered that the accounts that the monies were credited to were all single-purpose accounts opened to receive the stolen money, and UMB quickly flagged all the accounts. According to Thefinderonline.com report, in all the transaction, each account was credited with between GHC10 million and GHC15 million.
Further reports state that even before the matter was reported to the police, about GH¢1 million of the money had been withdrawn from some of the accounts through Automated Teller Machines (ATM) in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates using internationally accepted credit cards. The police in a briefing, confirmed that six people who attempted withdrawing money from some of the identified bank accounts in Ghana had been arrested. And six others associated with those arrested have also been picked up by the police on grounds that they may be members of the syndicate.
Author: Aliu Momodu, for Political Economist