The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised an alarm over the increasing circulation of fake dollars and the prevalence of cyber crimes in the Benue axis.
The acting chairman of the EFCC, Abdulkarim Chukkol, made this known on Thursday in Makurdi, the capital of Benue state, during a workshop on ‘Effective Reporting of Economic and Financial Crimes’.
The workshop, which was attended by 30 journalists from major media organisations in the country, was aimed at enhancing the capacity of the media to report on corruption and financial crimes.
Mr Chukkol said the EFCC had taken measures to address the situation of fake dollars and cyber crimes, which he described as a threat to the economy and security of the country.
He said the EFCC had recovered several billions of naira from corrupt individuals and organisations, and strengthened the anti-money laundering framework in the country.
He also said the EFCC had recorded 3,785 convictions in 2022, the highest since its inception.
He urged the media to educate the public on the dangers of disclosing their bank details to anyone, or allowing their accounts to be used for illegal transactions.
He said such acts could expose them to money laundering charges, as well as endanger their lives and property.
He also said that under the Money Laundering Act 2022, family members and close associates of politicians and public officeholders, including top civil servants, are now classified as politically exposed persons (PEPs).
He said the EFCC would not spare anyone who steals from the public treasury or aids and abets corruption, regardless of their status or affiliation.
He said ignorance of the law would not be an excuse for anyone who violates it.
He appealed to the media to support the EFCC in its fight against corruption and financial crimes, by reporting objectively and accurately.
He assured them of the EFCC’s cooperation and protection.