Fraudsters planning to steal N4.5bn from TSA arrested
Department of State Services, DSS said it has apprehended Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, ISIS recruitment agent, Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa; several terrorists and kidnappers across the country.
Also, DSS revealed it has arrested some serving and retired civil servants suspected to be planning to steal N4.5billion from the Treasury Single Account, TSA.
According to the secret police, the operations were executed in line with the Service’s statutory mandate to decisively and continually provide actionable intelligence as well as act to degrade persons and groups that threaten internal security in the country.
Spokesman for the Service, Tony Opuiyo said in a statement made available to journalists yesterday that as a result of its statutory function, DSS initiated series of tactical operations, involving raids and enforcement actions against identified criminal and extremist kingpins and syndicates across the country.
He said these recent operations have significantly degraded the key extremist groups and kidnapping gangs, terrorizing innocent citizens in the country, particularly in the South-West, North-West and Middle-Belt regions of the federation.
Opuiyo said Yunusa was arrested in Kano on January 17, sequel to available intelligence which indicated his terrorist antecedents and covert drive to indoctrinate and recruit susceptible youths in the country.
The statement said further that prior to his arrest, Yunusa had completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ‘Islamic State’.
“These recruits include the trio of one Muhammed Rabi’u, Yahaya Momoh Jimoh and Zainab Sunday (f). Yunusa is a 400 level undergraduate student of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, Niger State, where he was studying for a degree in Information and Media Technology. He was subsequently radicalized and became a member of an extremist cell, comprising of one Ibrahim and Abubakar Ligali, whom he revealed are currently undergoing terrorist training in Libya.
“He listed one Aminu and Ibrahim Jihadi (Nigeriene), as other ISIS agents operating in Nigeria and the West African sub-region. The cell was being funded by one Abu-sa’ad Al Sudani, a media expert with the extremist group using Western Union Money Transfers to fund the terrorist cell agenda.
“On 17th January, 2016, in Daura township of Daura LGA, Katsina State, another budding extremist cell affiliated to ISIS, was intercepted by the Service. One Ibrahim Mohammed Daura, Zaharadeen Salisu and five other elements of the proscribed extremist group, Ansaru, were arrested by the Service. This group was discovered in an active stage, as its members were already co-ordinating themselves for attacks in Katsina and Kano States.
“In the same vein, on 22nd January, 2016, one Obansa Salami, Ejide Tijani aka Abu Uwaise II, Mohammed Rabiu aka Ubida II, Zainab Mohammed and Abdulqadir Salisu Ahmad were arrested in Kano by this Service, while migrating to Libya, with their immediate families including infants, in a bid to join ISIS. This group was apprehended after painstaking monitoring of its network and plans.
“On 29th January, 2016, the Service arrested Mohammed Aliyu Ndako in Kwara State. Ndako is a seventeen (17) year old undergraduate student of a tertiary institution in the State. He was arrested sequel to credible intelligence on his plans with one Abdulkadir Salisu Ahmad a.k.a Daddy Tall, another student in Kano State, to carry out coordinated lone-wolf attacks on selected populated targets in Nigeria preferably worship centres or recreation venues. Suspect had hitherto been communicating with foreign extremist elements, while sourcing online terrorist training and support.
“Within the window of these tactical operations, between the month of December 2015 and February 2016, the Service, busted the network of syndicated kidnap gangs spanning different regions in the country, especially Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Nasarawa, FCT, Oyo and Osun States. Foremost in this line, was the arrest of a gang of five (5) kidnappers, Abubakar Hassan, Usman Musa, Usman Adamu and Idrisa Babangida Ahmadu at Ife junction, Osun State, on 3rd February, 2016.
“On 5th February, 2016, the fifth member of the gang, Saidu Isyaku was arrested at Ojo area, Oyo State. These kidnappers, Six (6) AK 47 rifles, five (5) magazines and about one thousand rounds of ammunition were recovered. This gang has been active in the South West axis of the country and were at advanced stages of kidnapping high value targets for huge ransom, before they were intercepted.
“Another breakthrough in the fight against kidnapping was the killing of Abubakar Mohammed (aka Buba), and an unidentified member of his group, on 8th February, 2016 close to Jebba Medical Centre, Jebba, Kwara State by security operatives as they tried to escape during a shootout with security operatives. Mohammed was a notorious kidnap kingpin known for his brutality and various acts of lawlessness. It is disheartening that this criminal and his men had terrorized, to no end, residents of the South West zone. He was also linked to the kidnap of the elder statesman, Chief Olu Falae, in Ondo State.
“In the wake of deliberate vandalism of oil pipelines by criminal elements in the South-South region, the Service arrested one Nengi Samuel Ikiba aka Kockman Abula, a notorious pipeline vandal on 27th January, 2016, in Bayelsa State. Ikiba confessed to vandalizing several pipelines in the State, including the 24” Agoda/Brass Oil pipeline at Idema community in Ogbia LGA of Bayelsa State.
“The modest success of the Service in its support to the Federal Government to achieve its desired economic objectives and stability may also be noted. To this effect, the DSS have arrested a group of fraudsters who had concluded plans to hack the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System, GIFMIS domiciled in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in order to steal Four Billion, Five Hundred Million Naira (N4.5b) from the Treasury Single Account, TSA. The gang was led by one Sunny Okoh, a hacker who worked in collaboration with the trio of Uwem Udo Ekpo, a Chief Program Analyst in the OAGF, Maxwell Ekene, a retired security operative and Dozie Egwu, based in Malaysia and who is now at large. The suspected fraudsters intended to use software they had sourced and codes released to them by Ekpo to hack Government accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and defraud the government of this huge sum.
“It is instructive to note that a credibility problem would have arisen over the TSA policy if these hackers had succeeded in their plan and thus lend credence to the critics of the policy that it ought not to have been introduced and implemented. For the avoidance of doubt, the suspects have been handed over to the EFCC for further investigations and prosecution.
Fraudsters planning to steal N4.5bn from TSA too
Similarly, the Service said it has arrested some serving and retired civil servants suspected to be planning to steal N4.5billion from the Treasury Single Account, TSA.
According to a statement by the DSS’s spokesman, Tony Opuiyo, the gang was planning to hack the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System domiciled in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and steal the money.
He said the gang was led by one Sunny Okoh, whom he described as a hacker who worked in collaboration with the trio of Uwem Ekpo, a Chief Programme Analyst in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Maxwell Ekene, a retired security operative and Dozie Egwu, whom he alleged, was living in Malaysia but at large.
Opuiyo revealed further that halting this planned stealing of the huge sum from government coffers is one big achievement recorded by the Service, describing it as “the modest success of the Service in its support to the Federal Government to achieve its desired economic objectives and stability.”
Opuiyo explained that the suspected fraudsters intended to use software they had sourced and codes released to them by Ekpo to hack government accounts in the Central Bank of Nigeria and defraud the government of the huge sum.
He said a credibility problem would have arisen over the TSA policy if these hackers had succeeded in their plan and thus lend credence to the critics of the policy that it ought not to have been introduced and implemented.”
It added that the suspects had been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC for further investigations and prosecution.