EFCC goes after doctors who issue fake medical certificates

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The Economic and Finance Crimes Commission (EFCC) is set to extend its investigation to doctors who issue fake medical reports to persons being prosecuted for alleged economic and financial crimes.

Vanguard reports that the acting chairman of the commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu, disclosed this at an interactive session with journalists in Abuja today.

“We will extend our investigation to doctors who connive with criminals and give them fake medical report. We have to go after them and fight them.

“Those facing corrupt allegations go as far of getting fake reports from abroad. So, the practice of giving fake medical report must stop,”

Magu, who also said that most of the corruption cases were not properly reported during prosecution, urged journalists to help in fighting corruption in the country.

“Most of the cases during prosecution are not properly reported. The stories are not balanced. I don’t know how many people go to court to report the actual incident and the facts.

“That is why we have endless cases in court. We are seriously going back to the drawing board and we will call all the lawyers handling our cases to tell us the status of the cases ongoing. “Some would win senate and present serial medical results that they cannot appear in court. Some would be brought to the courtroom in a stretcher,” he added.

He, however, added that the commission was carrying out investigations into some non-governmental organisations operating in the northeast as they were being used to move cash around.

Meanwhile, he said the commission arrested no fewer than 200 internet fraud suspects, popularly known as ‘Yahoo Boys’, in October alone.

He said the biggest catch was instagram celebrity, Ismaila Mustapha a.k.a Mompha, and his Lebanese accomplice, Hamza Koudeih.

He said the suspects, who were ‘kingpins of an Organised Cyber Syndicate Network’, allegedly laundered a total of N33 billion.

“Five wristwatches valued at over N60 million were recovered from Mompha at the point of arrest.

“Investigation has also revealed that he operates 51 bank accounts in Nigeria with which he acquired properties in Dubai and had laundered about N14 billion through Ismalob Global Investments Limited.

“His accomplice, Koudeih, also has two firms namely: THK Services Limited and CHK properties Limited with which he has allegedly laundered about N19 billion.

“Koudeih lives in a five million dollar per annum suite at the Eko Atlantic Pearl Tower, Victoria Island Lagos.’’

The EFCC boss said the arrests underscored the agency’s commitment to the fight against corruption and economic crime.

He added that there were also clear messages to “high-end fraudsters that they can only run, but cannot hide, sooner than later, we will get them”.

“The effort to flush out all fraudsters continues. At the same time, we will sustain the tempo of the vigorous prosecution of fraud cases in court.

“Indeed, fraudsters account for a huge percentage of the 890 convictions that have been recorded by the commission this year.

“A number of assets have been seized, while victims have also enjoyed restitution by order of the court,” he said.

While noting that the battle “is far from being won,” Magu renewed his appeal for the support of stakeholders, especially the media, for the commission.

Magu said the youths, who were mostly involved in cyber fraud, needed sensitisation to the consequences of their actions not only to their future but to the nation’s image and economy.

He restated the commission’s resolve to rehabilitate those ready to turn a new leaf and help them to put their skills to good use.

“The youth must learn the virtues of integrity and hard work as the path to sustainable wealth.

“They must realise that crime does not pay rather it will destroy their prospects and ruin their chances of decent living.

“For those who are remorseful and prepared to turn a new leaf, the commission is fully disposed to help in channeling their energies and cyber skills to positive venture.

“We are considering a policy that will help in the rehabilitation of convicted, but repentant Internet fraudsters.

“This is to ensure that their skills are positively applied in helping to build a better Nigerian society,” Magu said.

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