The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says it is investigating 522 cases in the South-East.
The EFCC zonal head, South-East zone, Mr. Johnson Babalola, said this while addressing journalists in Enugu on Wednesday.
Giving a summary of the Commission’s activities in the South-East, Babalola said some companies linked to serving governors in the zone are under investigation, in connection with money laundering cases.
According to him, 36 out of the 522 cases are currently in court.
He added that the anti-graft agency has secured 14 convictions in the zone since January 2016.
Within the period, the EFCC has recovered about N244.5m, 955,465 US dollars and 10,000 euros in the South-East, while the sum of 130,750 US dollars was forfeited, and paid into the coffers of the Federal Government.
Babalola disclosed that a popular ‘wonder bank’ operator in Enugu, Chief Patrick Nwokike, the Chief Executive Officer of Lets Partner With You, was in the custody of the Commission in Enugu, alongside his wife.
Nwokike allegedly collected over N4bn from unsuspecting members of the public in a ‘ponzi scheme’, using the name ‘Let’s Partner With You’ in return for some monthly percentage on the invested sum.
Babalola explained that the N4bn was found in “only two out of the 20 bank accounts” identified and traced to the wonder bank operator.
“It is suspected that a larger percentage of the funds is stashed in an offshore account,” he said, adding that efforts are ongoing to trace the said funds.
It was also discovered that the wonder bank has branches across the country.
Explaining further, Babalola said, “The South-East zonal office of the EFCC has received over 150 petitions on the illegal financial dealings on the CEO (of the wonder bank) and the company and has swung into investigation arresting the key suspect and the wife who is a co-signatory to the account.
“In the course of investigation, the zone has identified three choice property (mansions) and a multi-million naira warehouse which have been sealed and placed under investigation.
“Efforts are being intensified to trace other properties. Additionally, two exotic SUVs have also been recovered as the proceeds of crime.”Punch