Fraudsters. Yahoo Yahoo

Nigeria is used to being painted in a bad light, no thanks to the activities of fraudsters who have consistently refused to repent. But have you ever considered how this affects you as a Nigerian?

Barely a week after Nigerians woke up to the news that America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Invictus Group’s Obinwanne Okeke over alleged fraud, more bad news followed earlier today as the names of 80 more Nigerians were released by the anti-crime agency. The suspects have been accused of conspiracy to commit fraud, conspiracy to launder money, aggravated identity theft, and other serious financial crimes perpetrated through Business Email Compromise scams.

The FBI’s latest unraveling of fraud suspects has been adjudged the largest in US history. And the fact that the alleged criminals comprise mostly of Nigerians should really have us all worried.

[READ: FBI releases names of 80 Nigerians]

What Really Happened? There are possibilities that Obinwanne Okeke, who was arrested last week, may have snitched on other fraudsters by facilitating the FBI’s investigations with useful information. 

Now, just in case you are not already worried about this development, let us consider some of the reasons why you should.

Tarnished National Image: If Nigeria’s notoriety as one of the most corrupt countries in the world hadn’t already been pronounced before now, this development has helped to accomplish just that. Unfortunately, a dented global integrity comes with lots of consequences for virtually anyone whose passport bears the name “NIGERIA”.

[READ: FBI arrests Invictus Group’s Obinwanne Okeke, Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 List nominee]

Visa Denials Loom: Before now, getting a visa to travel to European and American destinations have been a very difficult thing for most Nigerians. The reason why this is the case has always been Nigeria’s global fraud perception. Now, just imagine how difficult the visa application process is going to become following this scandal!

Stricter Control for Remittances: Prior to this time, European and American banks are known for implementing strict measures when it comes to remoting money to Nigeria. The situation is so bad such that legitimate Nigeria-based companies/individuals often find it difficult getting payment for services rendered. This development could only make the remittance process stricter and a lot more difficult.

Effect on Legitimate Nigerians: At the end of the day, it is regular, law-abiding Nigerians that will end up bearing the consequences of this messy situation. Imagine being denied opportunities or profiled as a fraudster just because you are a Nigerian.

What Is the Solution? We must all agree that the situation is really messy, after which we begin the immediate and collective process of cleaning up the mess. Doing this entails solving the root problems of long-standing corruption, bad governance, and unemployment at home.

More so, it is high time young Nigerians come to the realisation that fraud is really not the best way out of poverty. There are many legitimate ways to wealth creation other than scamming and doping innocent people.

However, for those who refuse to learn from this, just bear in mind that once the FBI gets on your case, they will not stop until they hunt you down.

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