The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has accused hotel owners of encouraging ‘yahoo boys’ to perpetrate internet fraud by providing an enabling environment for them across the country.
Penpushing reports that, the commission made the allegation on Tuesday in a statement noting that the action of the hoteliers amounts to deliberate sabotage and obstruction of law enforcement officers and is punishable by Section 38 (2) (b) of the agency Act.
“The commission has observed a worrying pattern of cold complicity by hospitality entrepreneurs who appear to be hands-in-gloves with suspected fraudsters by housing them over long spells and making internet facilities available to them;, the statement reads.
“While the argument is being made in certain quarters that hoteliers as business people have no means of determining who a fraudster is before allowing them to lodge in their facilities, that position runs counter to the law; the agency declared .
“Section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud And Other Related Offences Act, 2006 provides for a prison term of between five and 15 years without option of fine for any person who permits his premises to be used for any offence under the Act.”
The anti-graft agency’s statement pointed out that, the hotel owners also shield the fraudsters from being arrested, a development the commission noted as frustrating law enforcement on such premises, but declared that it would no longer tolerate such situations.
“If the hoteliers are not enablers of the alleged crimes, as some have demonstrated by offering information to the commission, they are under obligation to cooperate with law enforcement officers carrying out their lawful duties. To act otherwise would be tantamount to willingly becoming enablers to fraud”
Penpushing also reports that, the commission in the statement gave identities of the alleged fraudsters arrested at Mitros Hotels, owned by Ogun State Government as include: Garfar Olamide Taiwo, Fadimaye Habeeb, Badmus Idris, Samuel Victor, Seun Fuad, Alli Isaac, Oyeleke Mubarak, Bolu Soetan, Koleosho Eniola, Saheed Abidemi, Olaewe Tosin, Ayedun Idowu, Oniyitan Ayomide, Akinlabi Precious, Gbadebo Sultan, Adeyemi Habeeb, Balogun Hassan, Sulaimon Ayub Damilare, and Akinsola Usman.
The statement said others are Ajibola Femi Sodiya, Ridwan Alani, Olusesi Lanre, Eniatimo Oludare, Taiwo Opeyemi, Akindele Kabiru Johnson Hammed, Idowu Gabriel, Adekanmi Adejumo, Peter Babatunde, Okeowo Sunday, Abudu Habeeb, Sabair Rasaq, Ademuyiwa Basit, Toriola Opeyemi, Babayode Abiola, Agbaje Habeeb, Sorinola Oluwatobiloba, Abiodun Elegbede, Kayode Daniel ,Lawal Alabi, Oyewole Korede, Aberuagba Gafar, Adekunle Emmanuel, Okunade Azeez, and Ojediran Sodiq.
Penpushing reports the commission said during the raid, despite the lack of cooperation by the hotel owners, nobody was hurt, nor any damage recorded, and that ten “exotic” cars, dozens of mobile phones, laptops and several incriminating documents were recovered from the suspected fraudsters, adding that, they(suspects) will be arraigned in court as soon as the investigation is concluded.
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