Operatives of the EFCC, Uyo Zonal Office arrested seven suspects at two locations in Calabar, Cross River State in a recent crackdown on Internet fraudsters.
They were arrested on Friday 22 November.
Five of the suspected cybercriminals were arrested in Block-L, Mixed-Use Layout, Parliamentary Extension, Ikot Ansa, Calabar Municipality.
They are: Emmanuel Omengala, 23 and an indegene of Otukpo, Benue State, Jude Segun, 24, from Eseodo, Ondo State and a 400 Level marketing student of the University of Calabar, Paul Omengala, 25 from Otukpo, Benue State and a student of Cross River State University of Technology (CRUTECH).
Also arrested are Ogah Ugbabe, 21 from Otukpo and a student of Benue State University and Valentine Obonga, 24, also from Otukpo and a student of Benue State University.
The remaining two, arrested in Ekorinim Phase ll are siblings. They are: Promise Ben-Nkanga, 28 and unemployed from Mkpat Enin, Akwa Ibom State and Stephen Ben-Nkanga, his brother, 22, and an accounting student of the University of Calabar, Cross River State.
The all-male suspects are: Endurance Ahunwan (28), Nohuwan Frank (26), Dominic Chidiebere (28), Idehe Efosa (17), Patrick Edos (27), Samuel Ukiwe (21) and Michael Edward 25.
Others are: Destiny Efe (17), Hope Yusuf (19), Harrison Esi (17) and Igbinigun Osamudia (17).
Seventeen-year-old Esi was found hiding in the roof of the apartment along with some of their tools of operation. According to him, their leader, Ahunwan instructed him to conceal himself and the gadgets in the roof in order to prevent his arrest and confiscation of the tools.
“Our leader ordered me to hide in the ceiling with the gadgets so that I will not be nabbed also,” Esi said.
Upon arrest, Ahunwan the prime suspect, confessed that he recruited the team, saying they were paying back Europeans for stealing from their forefathers.
He also alleged that the parents of the arrested accomplices gave their consent and pleaded with him to help their children secure a means of livelihood.
Some of the items recovered from them are: one 2007 Toyota Camry, one Apple Macbook, Airtel 4G wifi router, one iPhone X, one iPhone X Max, one iPhone smart watch, one Infinix Hot 5, WAEC scratch card, one iPhone 8 Max, two iPhone 7 Plus, one international passport, one HP Elitebook (laptop), one Apple Macbook Pro (laptop).
Others are: one Nokia phone, one UBA cheque booklet, three ATM cards of Fidelity Bank, Diamond Bank and First Bank, one South African visa application form/Consulate General Notice of Decision, First Bank withdrawal booklet and five GSM SIM cards of MTN, 9mobile and Glo.
The suspects will be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.