Hoteliers Accommodating Yahoo Boys Risk Jail – EFCC
The anti-graft agency’s spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, said in a statement on Wednesday, that owners could become criminally liable for allowing their premises to be used for cybercrime.
The statement was in reaction to EFCC’s recent overnight raid at a hotel in Lagos state where operatives arrested at least 30 people accused of internet fraud.
The operatives gained entry into the occupants’ rooms by allegedly seizing the master cards from the management of the hotel at gunpoint.
Some of guests said they were naked under the duvet during the raid, adding that they were not even allowed to dress up before being interrogated by the officers, who said they were on a manhunt for suspected Internet fraudsters, PeoplesGazette reports.
However, EFCC, in the statement, alleged that what played out during the raid was a regular antic used by Yahoo Boys in buying time to destroy incriminating items in their devices before arrest.
EFCC in its statement said;
In the course of the operation, the (EFCC) operatives encountered women in some of the rooms who pleaded nudity to stop them from arresting their targets. This has lately become the antics of cyber fraudsters who procure ladies to plead nudity as a decoy, to allow their consort destroy incriminating items in their devices before arrest.
Uwujaren dismissed allegations that the operatives invaded the privacy of guests and conducted illegal checks.
He said EFCC was acting on verified intelligence on the activities of a suspected syndicate of internet fraudsters.
According to him, the hotel had been under surveillance, and that only the rooms of identified suspects were breached by operatives, with no break-in or violence involved.
He noted that 24 of the 30 people recently arrested have already confessed their involvement in cyber crimes and related activities.
The spokesman added;
There was no incident as the hotel management served with the relevant warrant offered access to the operatives, to carry out their lawful duties.
Warning hoteliers against allowing cybercriminals into their facilities, EFCC stated that hoteliers would be contravening section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act if they continued to allow Yahoo Boys to check into their hotels.
The anti-graft agency declared;
The hotel owner perhaps is ignorant of the fact that he could become an accomplice and liable for allowing his premises to be used for cybercrime, in contravention of section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act.
The section provides that a person who, being the occupier or is concerned in the management of any premises, causes or knowingly permits the premises to be used for any purpose which constitutes an offence under this act is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years without the option of a fine.