EFCC chair Bawa: Criminals now prefer bitcoin, ethereum

Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says bitcoin and ethereum are now criminals’ favourite means of exchange.

He called for collaborative approach by authorities around the world in dealing with financial crimes.

Bawa spoke at the 38th Cambridge International Symposium on Economic Crime, themed, “Economic Crime-Who pays and who should pay?”.

The discourse was organized by the Center for International Documentation on Organized and Economic Crime (CIDOEC), Jesus College, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Bawa said economic crimes, which are largely illegal acts committed for private gain, affect global economies and deprive developing nations of resources for sustainable development.

The anti-corruption chief said the new typologies of economic crimes such as the growth of cryptocurrencies portray greater danger.

“Criminals now elect to transact or receive illegal monies, such as ransom money, for cyber-attacks in cryptocurrencies with bitcoin and ethereum as the most commonly used medium of these exchanges,” he said.

Bawa said as victims continue to suffer from the effects of financial crimes, the determination of who pays or who should pay becomes a critical measure of the criminal justice system.

He noted that under the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, reforms such as Treasury Single Account and Whistle Blower Policy have recorded milestones in investigations, prosecutions and assets recovery.

Bawa confirmed that the EFCC has recorded more than 3,500 convictions and recovered assets of significant value including properties in Nigeria, UK, USA, and UAE.

Chairman of the Symposium, Saul Froomkin thanked the EFCC boss for his presentation and the support received from Nigeria in organizing the event.

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