In its renewed bid in fighting crime, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has shut down about 800 scam email addresses and arrested 18 people who specialized in cyber crime.
This, it said, was done in its effort to clamp down on internet fraudsters through an initiative tagged “project eagle claw”.
According to a release signed by the Commission’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Babafemi, Chairman of the anti-graft agency, Mrs Farida Waziri, was quoted to have made the disclosure in Las Vegas, United States on Wednesday at the 35th Annual Convention of Black Mayors.
Top officials of the National Conference of Black Mayors (NCBM), led by their President, Ms Heather Hudson, had during a visit to the EFCC chairman in Abuja on July 29, invited her to address the annual event as part of efforts to foster greater relationship between the US authorities and the anti-graft commission.
Speaking on “Global vision for local action: A paradigm of connectivity in the African Diaspora”, Waziri said: “We expect that eagle claw as conceived will be 100 per cent operational within six months and at full capacity. It will take Nigeria out of the top 10 list of countries with the highest incidence of fraudulent e-mails. At the moment, eagle claw has delivered the following results:
“Over 800 fraudulent email addresses have been identified and shut down. The EFCC is fine tuning security modalities with Microsoft and upon full deployment, the capacity to take down fraudulent e-mails will increase to 5,000 monthly. Further, it is projected that advisory mails to be sent to victims and potential victims will be about 230,000 monthly.
“There have been 18 arrests of high profile syndicates operating cyber crime organizations.”
While justifying her decision to adopt the latest strategy against cyber crime, she said: “Project Eagle Claw is an initiative of the EFCC for the smart use of technology in fighting cyber crime. Hitherto, the EFCC structure for combating cyber crime revolved around cyber raids and investigation of petitions.
“However, the proactive stance of the new leadership required a radical departure and eagle claw was developed. When it is fully deployed, it will afford the EFCC the option of either monitoring or shutting down all fraudulent email addresses. The EFCC would also have identified victims and potential victims and advised them that their email has been compromised.”
Her address at the convention was preceded by series of meetings and interactions with top US government officials on Monday and Tuesday in Washington where issues on Nigeria’s anti-graft war and support for EFCC initiatives topped the agenda.
By Yemi Akinsuyi