The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have cautioned hotel owners who permit fraudsters aka Yahoo Boys to lodge in their hotels that they are at risk of being prosecuted and sent to prison. In a press release on its official Facebook page, the anti-corruption body stated that hotel owners could get a five-year prison sentence for permitting cyber criminals to check into their hotels.
This caution came after it was revealed that EFCC illegally obtained a hotel’s access card in Lagos and entered guests’ rooms in the early hours of the morning. Numerous guests, including couples, were spending the night at the hotel when EFCC operatives broke in at around 4:00 AM.
Some of the guests stated that they were nude under the duvet during the raid, adding that they were not even permitted to put on clothes before being questioned by the EFCC operatives, who stated they were in search of suspected Internet fraudsters.
On the other hand, EFCC, in a press release claimed that what happened during the raid was a tactics used by Yahoo Boys in buying time to delete obvious evidence in their devices before arrest so that they can deny their crime and continue putting people in financial catastrophic.
“In the course of the operation, the EFCC operatives encountered women in some of the rooms who pleaded they were nude to stop them from arresting their targets. This has lately become the antics and tactics of cyber fraudsters who procure ladies to plead nudity as a decoy or strategy, to allow their consort to destroy incriminating items in their devices before arrest,” the EFCC statement read.
While also cautioning hotel owners against permitting internet fraudsters into their establishment, the EFCC headquarters stated that hotel owners would be going against section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act if they still permit Yahoo Boys to lodge in their hotels.
According to the statement by EFFC; “The hotel owner perhaps is ignorant of the fact that he could become an accomplice and liable for allowing his premises to be used for cybercrime, in contravention of section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act,” the anti-graft agency stated.
It also read; “The section provides that a person who is being refer to as the occupier or is concerned in the management of any premises, causes or knowingly permits the premises to be used for any purpose which constitutes an offence under this act is guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than five years without the option of a fine.”
The anti-corruption agency did not however reveal how it would build a case of active participation between hotel owners and alleged Yahoo boys who lodge in their facilities.
Hotels in Nigeria regularly ask customers to fill out their occupation as part of the check-in procedure, but guests are not mandated to answer the question.
Asides from this, hotel owners would also have to verify that every customer provided the authentic information about themselves while lodging in for them to prevent EFCC’s threat of prosecution, but this is almost impossible as hotel managements cannot adequately provide the real identity of it customers.