The United States government through the FBI recently helped to run a training exercise whose goal is to enhance the capacity of Nigerian cryptocurrency crime investigators, the U.S. Mission Nigeria (USMN) has said. The exercise saw over 50 Nigerian investigators and prosecutors participate.
In its August 25 tweet, the USMN reveals that the training exercise was held in conjunction with the International Computer Hacking & IP Attorney Advisers (ICHIP) of Addis & Abuja. The mission also explained what the investigators learned from the exercise.
“Trainers shared patterns and trends in criminal use of cryptocurrency and described the various ways in which criminal enterprises use cryptocurrency,” explained the U.S. Mission Nigeria in the tweet.
This collaboration between the FBI and Nigeria comes as the latter continues to grapple with the numerous incidences of crypto-related crimes. Although Nigeria has had successes in tackling some crypto fraud cases or apprehending masterminds like Omotade-Sparks Amos Sewanu of the infamous Inksnation crypto Ponzi scheme. However, many cryptocurrency-related crimes in that country remained unresolved.
High Number of Crypto Fraud Cases
The high number of crypto fraud cases in Nigeria has in the past prompted bodies like the Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission to issue public warnings or advisories that discouraged crypto-related activities. However, despite these warnings or the restrictions imposed by the central bank, Nigerian interest and use of cryptocurrencies continue to grow.
However, following the training exercise, officials now hope to turn the screws against criminals that have hitherto made Nigeria a safe haven for crypto fraudsters.