The Nigerian operation that the police dismantled was a cybercrime recruitment and mentoring hub in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). According to the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), the hub was operated by a sophisticated cybercrime syndicate that was involved in various types of online fraud, such as business email compromise, romance scams, and high yield investment program fraud123.
The hub was located in the Dantata Estate area of Abuja, where the syndicate rented a house and equipped it with computers, laptops, phones, and internet devices. The syndicate recruited and trained young people, mostly students, to carry out cybercrime activities under their guidance and supervision. The syndicate also provided them with fake identities, hacking tools, and fraudulent scripts to communicate with their victims123.
The NPF said that its National Cybercrime Center (NCCC) initiated an investigation and operation in response to a series of intelligence reports that indicated the deep involvement of the syndicate in cybercrime. The NCCC raided the hub on October 25, 2023, and arrested six suspects, while others escaped. The NCCC also recovered several items from the hub, such as laptops, phones, SIM cards, bank cards, fake documents, and cash123.
The NPF said that the suspects confessed to their various degrees of involvement in cybercrime and that they would be charged once the investigation is completed. The NPF also appealed to the public to expose any such cybercrime recruitment center and mentoring hub noticed in their areas or houses. The NPF said that it would continue to work with partners, stakeholders, and other relevant security agencies to decimate activities of cybercriminals and other criminals across the country123.