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Washington Says It Has Lost Millions To Fake Unemployment Claims By Nigerian Crime Ring

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Authorities in Washington say the state has lost hundreds of millions of dollars to a fraud ring suspected to be operated by Nigerians.

Suzi LeVine, commissioner of the state employment security department (ESD), announced the losses during a press conference on Thursday afternoon, according to Seattle Times.

LeVine didn’t specifically state how much money was stolen during the scam, but she conceded that the amount was “orders of magnitude above” the $1.6 million that the department reported losing to fraudsters in April.

According to her, law enforcement agents are working on recovering as much money as possible and the department has taken steps to prevent new fraudulent unemployment claims from being filed or paid.

Meanwhile, in its earlier report, it was revealed that attackers are suspected to have used information about US citizens such as social security numbers to file for unemployment claims on behalf of people who have not been laid off.

“We do have definitive proof that the countermeasures we have put in place are working,” LeVine said.

“We have successfully prevented hundreds of millions of additional dollars from going out to these criminals and prevented thousands of fraudulent claims from being filed.”

Read Also: Nigerian Embassy In Washington Suspends Passport Activities Over Coronavirus Outbreak

“This makes me the most angry, and the most upset — that we need to delay payments to Washingtonians who need the benefits,” she said.

“But we need to also build in more time for analysis. So going forward, we want to set expectations that we will add an additional one to two days to our processing time.”

According to the US Secret Service, the primary state targeted is Washington, although evidence of attacks has been recorded in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Wyoming and Florida.

Agari, a California-based cybersecurity firm, stated that one of the criminal groups implicated in the fraud is Scattered Canary, a Nigerian organisation that has been running scams for more than a decade, working to steal social security payments, student aid and disaster relief funds, among other targets.

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Nigeria’s Economy May Emerge From Recession In 2021 Q1, Says Emefiele

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 Nigeria’s Economy May Emerge From Recession In 2021 Q1, Says Emefiele

CBN Governor – Godwin Emefiele

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has predicted that the nation’s economy may emerge from recession in the first quarter of 2021.

Recall that some days ago, Nigeria entered into recession for the second time since 2016.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made the prediction on Friday during the 55th annual Bankers Dinner which held in Lagos.

He expressed that the expected economic growth was two per cent.

Also Read: Nigeria Will Exit Recession By First Quarter Of 2021 – Finance Minister

Emefiele said, “With the sustained implementation of our intervention measures, we do expect that the Nigerian economy could emerge from the recession by the first quarter of 2021.”

“We also expect that growth in 2021 would attain 2.0 per cent. However, downside risks remain, as restoration of full economic activities, particularly in service-related sectors, remains uncertain until a COVID vaccine is produced and made available to millions of people across the world.

“Second, with the significant rise in cases in advanced markets and the imposition of lockdowns in parts of Europe, concerns remain on the impact this could have on growth in advanced economies, commodity prices and the financial markets.”

He also called for measures to “insulate our economy from the impact of these shocks through our diversification efforts, while also working to ensure that we adhere to safety protocols in order to prevent a surge in COVID-19 related cases, as this could further cripple economic activities.

This prediction by the apex bank echoes the projection of the Minister for Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, who stated that Nigeria would exit recession in the first quarter of 2021.

 

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Shehu Sani Reacts To Hisbah’s Call For Scrapping Of Black Friday

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Shehu Sani Reacts To Hisbah's Call For Scrapping Of Black Friday

Shehu Sani

Former lawmaker, Senator Shehu Sani has reacted to the call for the scrapping of the popular ‘Black Friday’sales by the Kano State Hisbah Board.

Recall that earlier on Friday, the board asked a radio station, demanding that it stops using the word “Black Friday” to refer to Friday.

Also Read: TECNO Stormed Computer Village with BBNaija’s OZO to Wrap up its Black Friday Sales Activities

The board explained that since Friday is regarded as a holy day in Islam, tagging it “Black Friday” is derogatory and a thus, should not be condoned.

Reacting to the statement, the former lawmaker from Kaduna described the threat by the Hisbah board as ‘nonsensical.”

He wrote:

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Court Orders Release Of Sen. Ndume From Kuje Prison

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Court Orders Release Of Sen. Ndume From Kuje Prison

Ali Ndume

A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has granted bail to Senator Ali Ndume who was detained in prison on Monday following the failure to produce Abdulrasheed Maina in court.

This was made known by the presiding judge, Justice Okon Abang in a ruling on Friday, November 27.

Also Read: BREAKING: Court Fixes Date For Ndume’s Bail Application

He stated that he chose to grant the senator bail based on his record of good behaviour before the court, notwithstanding that the other grounds of his bail application failed.

Justice Abang granted bail to Senator Ndume pending the hearing and determination of the Borno South Senator’s appeal filed at the Court of Appeal to challenge Monday’s order.

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