Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have arrested some Internet fraudsters, otherwise known as Yahoo Yahoo Boys in a sting operation carried out on Thursday morning.
However, the number taken away by the EFCC operatives had yet to be confirmed.
The Neighbourhood gathered that the operatives stormed an Estate located in the Mgbuakara area of Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, as they fired bullets in the course of the operation. Residents in the area told The Neighbourhood Reporter that they were woken up by heavy gunshots which enveloped the area. One of the residents said they had feared armed robbers had besieged the area but got their doubts cleared when they saw the operatives in clearly marked EFCC vests. When asked whether the residents knew that there were Internet fraudsters living within the estate, the resident, who would not to be named, answered in the affirmative. “Residents in this area knew that the boys(Internet fraudsters) resided in that estate. So, we were not surprised at the EFCC operations this morning.”
When The Neighbourhood visited the estate, same Thursday morning, residents were still seen in clusters discussing the early morning raid.
The Neighbourhood had yet to speak with the Zonal Head of the Port Harcourt office of the anti-graft agency, Usman Imam, on the matter.
However, soon after The Neighbourhood went to press with the arrests, the anti-graft agency released a statement in which it disclosed that it arrested four suspects said to be students of the University of Port Harcourt, and equally revealed their identities.
The commission in the statement named the suspects as Prince Hyacinth, Rex Emadifie Oghene, Odili Ifeayi and Uduak Samuel Williams.
They were reportedly picked on Thursday from their hideout at Chibiak Avenue, Elioparanwo, off Ada George, Port Harcourt.
The statement said, “Upon their arrest, the following items were recovered: one Tecno Spark 4 belonging to Prince Hyacinth; one Iphone 11 Pro Max, two Infinix Hot and one apple Laptop belonging to Odili Ifeayi; one Iphone 7 and two Iphone 11 belonging to Rex Emadifie Oghene and one iphone 8+, one Acer Laptop and one HP Laptop belonging Uduak Samuel Williams.
“Preliminary investigation established that the suspects are majorly involved in romance scam and also act as pickers for organized ring of fraudsters.
“While Prince Hyacinth parades himself as a Spain-based marine engineer to bait his victims, Rex Emadifie Oghene poses as a rig engineer based in the United State.
“The two other suspects, Odili Ifeayi and Uduak Samuel Williams present themselves as rig/marine engineers to defraud their victims.
“Between the four, a total heist of $111,500 from 15 victims has passed through their hands. The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigation is concluded.”