The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has warned hotel owners across the country to be wary of allowing internet fraudsters to congregate or hibernate around their facilities.
The Commission gave the warning on Tuesday on the heels on an operation by the Ibadan Zonal Command of the agency that led to the arrest of 56 suspected internet fraudsters in Abeokuta, Ogun state.
The Commission has observed a worrying pattern of cold complicity by hospitality entrepreneurs who appear to be hands-in-gloves with suspected fraudsters by housing them over long spells and making internet facilities available to them.
While the argument is being made in certain quarters that hoteliers as business people have no means of determining who a fraudster is before allowing them to lodge in their facilities that position runs counter to the law.
Section 3 of the Advance Fee Fraud And Other Related Offences Act, 2006 provides for a prison term of between five and 15 years without option of fine for any person who permits his premises to be used for any offence under the Act.
EFCC will therefore not tolerate situations where hotel owners or managers not only permit fraudsters to use their facilities but also deliberately shield them from arrest by frustrating law enforcement on such premises.
If the hoteliers are not enablers of the alleged crimes, as some have demonstrated by offering information to the Commission, they are under obligation to cooperate with law enforcement officers carrying out their lawful duties. To act otherwise would tantamount to willingly becoming enablers to fraud.