Wanted by FBI, arrested by EFCC: The story of Festus Abiona

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A 38-year-old man, Festus Abiona has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) following his indictment by the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) over internet fraud-related activities.

The anti-graft agency said it picked up the suspect in his hideout in Arepo, Ogun State last Wednesday.

A statement signed by EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed that Abiona had been on the run for eight months until he was fished out.

“Abiona had been on the wanted list of the commission for more than eight months, over the alleged fraud case before luck ran against him and he was finally arrested in his hideout.

“The Anti-graft body was able to fish him out last week Wednesday in his beautifully built duplex in Arepo, Ogun State,” Uwujaren said.

The EFCC spokesman said that the suspect, on sighting the operatives of the commission, flushed all his SIM cards into the toilet and destroyed all his Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) to destroy evidence.

He stated that even though the suspect had refused to make statement since his arrest, the suspect would soon be arraigned in court.

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The suspect, said the statement, had refused to step out of his house for the past five months for fear of being arrested since he got wind of the EFCC/FBI trail on him.

“But as the slogan of the EFCC says, “wherever you are, EFCC will get you,” he said.

According to him, the FBI had in a petition dated July 10, 2019, alleged that the suspect was involved in Business Email Compromise and other computer-enabled fraud.

“Furthermore, in May 2016, the FBI received information that an actor or actors bypassed online security to steal money from retirement accounts held by an insurance company for public workers in the U.S.

“The money resulted in the loss of approximately 2.5 million dollars.

“Investigation into the case by the commission revealed that the person behind the business email compromise is Festus Akinyemi Abiona and his syndicate members.

“Millions of naira have been traced to his bank accounts and some of the emails used in perpetrating the fraud have been taken over from the suspect,” he said.

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