New Anti-Fraud CP Okoro spits fire…adopts forensic-led investigation in fight against fraud

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By Albert UBA, Investigator-in-Chief, Lagos.

THE newly promoted Commissioner of Police Dan Nkem Okoro is synonymous with investigation. All through his policing career, he has always been involved in groundbreaking investigations. From the  Airport Command as a much junior officer to Festac Area Command,  the Inspector-General of Police IGP Monitoring Unit and then, to the Special Fraud Unit SFU, this fair-complexioned lawyer-cum-crack investigator has not left his teeming admirers in doubt of his ingenuity to excel; leaving behind inimitable footprints on the sands of time. From clueless scenarios, he was sure to create imaginary crime scenes to crack any crime at all cost and by all means; akin to FBI detectives. The highly celebrated murder of Miss Cynthia Oshikogu in a Festac hotel which (ACP Okoro as he was then) unearthed is a striking reference point. This singular feat spewed and elicited worldwide accolades and commendations so much so much so that the then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was compelled to seek for a Presidential handshake with this investigator-extraordinaire and in addition, handed him a certificate of commendation; making him earn “the new face of NPF” title from CrimeWorld magazines.

His recent deployment as Commissioner of Police to head the Anti-Fraud Unit is therefore, not by accident.

Addressing members of Crime Reporters Association of Nigeria CRAN Friday at the association’s secretariat on Oduduwa Street Ikeja GRA, a visibly resolute CP Okoro warned that his headship of the anti-fraud

Unit of the Police on Alagbon Close, Ikoyi Lagos would usher in a new vista in cracking highly profile financial crimes in the country vowing that he was poised to changing the narrative in financial crime investigation. In actualizing this, he said he would explore forensic strategy to outwit fraudsters in their various antics; whether they are nationals or foreigners.  He said, “What we would do at the Anti-Fraud unit shall be in line with the vision of the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to bring to the barest level, the state of fraud in the country and in line with the fight against corruption by the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari which the Force has keyed into. We are going to strengthen the Anti-Fraud department, reposition it to the best in fighting all manner of cyber fraud, 419 and any other fraud related cases. We would employ international best practices, forensic input, modern day intelligence gathering approaches, technology-driven investigative methods to tackle complicated, multifaceted cyber fraud and fraud in whatever name in general as this nature of crime is not only negatively affecting the country’s economy but also paint the country in bad light internatiosnally. The IGP is not happy about this.”

Continuing, CP Okoro who warned that his jurisdictions covers all facets of the economy including oil and gas sector, banking and finance, embassies, corporate organizations and any every other sector which thrives in sharp practices added, “Let me start by warning all corporate bodies, banks, oil companies, other financial institutions such as Stock Exchange, federal and state government agencies, Embassies, maritime operators, Bureau De change operators, educational institutions NGOs, Real Estate/land speculators involved in fraudulent land deals, service providers such as network providers, hospitality and health sectors of the economy and all those involved in insider trading or any form of fraud or fraudulent practice to desist from this moment or face the full wrath of the law as our investigation would be so thorough as to gain conviction. Another group of persons I would warn are the 419ners both those who operate locally and internationally. These set of fraudsters are embarrassing this country and damaging the good name of her people. We shall tackle them. As for the cyber fraudsters, I have special place in my heart for them; I pray they are not caught. Anybody who aides and abets cyber criminals or encourages them would be treated as fraudsters; if you share in their loot, I would treat you as such.  I would investigate the activities of fraudulent foreigners who connive with some crooks in the system to defraud, shortchange and evade tax payment or any other legal charges demanded by law that should go to the purse of the federal or state government. If they are found culpable, they would be arraigned. It is criminal for foreigners to come here and clean our vault dry through fraudulent channels. Foreigners and their Nigerian collaborators who find joy in shortchanging the government are warned. They must play by the rules. Now it is business unusual in the Force Anti-Fraud department of the FCIID Alagbon, Ikoyi Lagos. Most them are her ding money laundering and round tripping.”

He therefore, called on all Nigerians to avail the repositioned Anti-Fraud Unit of the Force with all the needed information that would assist the unit fight all manner of fraud and fraudulent practices to standstill in the country saying, “I enjoin all Nigerians to key into this fight against fraud and fraudsters and other forms of crime and criminality as to salvage out country. The initiative of the IGP Ibrahim Idris to inject the professionalism f the Force in the area of checkmating fraud and fraudsters through the reorganized Anti-fraud section would bring in the needed result in our financial systems and transactions.”

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