24 August 2019
Princewill Odidi a Nigerian living in the US has faulted claims trending on social media especially Twitter that 80 Nigerians suspected to be Internet fraudstars were apprehended in the United States. According to him, the number is actually 14. He added that it is difficult for such a crime to take place in the US.
Odidi said this yesterday via his social media account. According to him, 'When I first read the news that 80 suspected internet fraudstars were apprehended in the United States, I had doubted the story, not because some Nigerians in the United States are not into crime, but because if you understand how America works, there are certain crimes that would be practically impossible or difficult to carry out in the United States because of the utility identification system in the United States.
'The initial story said 80 Nigerians of Igbo origin living in America were arrested, that’s not actually true, only 14 actually live in the United States, the remaining 63 lived and operated from Nigeria and a few from Malaysia as published here in the US.
'Statistics of Nigerians in America involved in credit card and other monetary fraud in the US majority are not Ibo’s at all. I wouldn’t want to mention the tribe, but they are not Ibos.
'Ironically, the most hard working Nigerians in America who come In here doing odd jobs, doing 3 or 4 jobs at the same time majority of them are Ibos.
'So the news making the rounds on internet making it look like Ibos are into internet fraud in America is distorted. There maybe into internet fraud in Nigeria but not in United States.
'In America it is even easier to rob a provision store and you are not caught than to do internet fraud. The reason is simple. Unlike in Nigeria where it is difficult to track someone using internet, here in America it is the reverse. Every internet IP has a unique address tied to the computer being used, and tied to the person who owns the computer, it is even tied to the physical address where the computer operates, and because of the advanced technology in the US, you can be tracked within minutes of attempting internet scam.
'So this was why I had some reservations when I read the story initially. While the US press tries to paint Nigeria bad since the news broke, it is saddening to note that Nigerians in America constitute one of the most educated immigrant population in American history.
'Almost 90% of Nigerians in America all have college degrees, you cannot find that in any other immigrant population in the US.
'While I condemn the act, and I feel those involved have given Nigeria a bad name, and makes it difficult for legitimate Nigerians to do business overseas without the air of suspicion, however I think the story as told is distorted, Ibos in America are not so much into crime.
'Out of the 80 persons charged, only 17 were arrested in the US while the rest are in Nigeria.
'The Nigerian government need to build an internet tracking infrastructure to help curtail internet crime and gradually it is gaining international attention. It is damaging our image home and abroad.'