The Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has revealed that the commission recovered about $20 million worth of cryptocurrency loot from cybercriminals.
He also added that the loot has been saved in the commission’s e-wallet, saying the EFCC has come to see cryptocurrency as an avenue where fraudsters launder the proceeds of their crime.
Bawa disclosed this while speaking at a Channels Television programme, ‘Sunrise Daily’ on Tuesday.
He lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s ban on cryptocurrency transactions, saying it has helped to limit the avenues through which criminals launder their proceeds of crimes in the country.
“As it is today, there is nowhere in the world where cryptocurrency is being regulated. The EFCC is looking at an avenue in which people are laundering and receiving proceeds of crime and that is our worry.
“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, 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.
“As it is today, we have about 20 million dollars 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.” He said.
So, we are in support of what the CBN has done because it has limited the ways in which some of these criminals can exchange their crypto and get naira for it.”