RSF_en Receive email alerts RSF requests urgent adoption of moratorium on arrests of journalists Help by sharing this information SomaliaAfrica Radio Shabelle reporter Mohammed Bashir Sheik Abdirahman and his driver Osman Qoryoley were released on 24 March after being held for three days, Reporters Without Borders has learned from their employer. Abdirahman told his station they were “treated well” and that the “government troops guarding them gave them all they needed.” They were arrested on 21 March after taking photos at Mogadishu international airport where the Prime Minister was supposed to give a news conference.———–21.03.2007 – Security forces arrest radio journalist and driverReporters Without Borders said it was baffled by the arrest of Radio Shabelle reporter Mohammed Bashir Sheik Abdirahman and his driver Osman Qoryoley this morning in Mogadishu and called on the transitional federal government to adhere to the undertakings to ensure respect for press freedom that it gave during a conference this week on media policy.“If the transitional government really wants to pursue a policy for the protection of the media, it must begin by getting the security forces to respect journalists,” the press freedom organisation said. “It is unacceptable that a journalist is roughed up and arrested just for doing his job. The emergence of a free and independent press requires a climate of trust between journalists and the authorities.”Abdirahman and his driver were arrested at Mogadishu international airport when they arrived for a news conference which Prime Minister Ali Mohammed Ghedi was supposed to give there. Muhiadin Omar Jimale, another radio journalist, was also stopped and would probably have been arrested, but he managed to escape.Local sources said Abdirahman was beaten by security agents before being placed in custody. The National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) called for the release of the two Radio Shabelle employees and condemned “the mistreatment of journalists who were just doing their job.”The incident comes on the heels of a three-day Conference on Media Development Policy held in Baidoa from 18 to 20 March. Reporters Without Borders commends the NUSOJ for organising the conference jointly with the information ministry. More than 50 representatives from the government, parliament, human rights groups and media organisations took part, discussing such issues as how to protect free speech and the safety of journalists, how to regulate the media and ensure their independence, and the creation of public media.Information minister Madobe Nunow Mohammed said the government “accepts all the recommendations that emerged from the conference and will use them as the basis for media legislation.” An 11-member team was created to monitor implementation of the decisions. The NUSOJ told Reporters Without Borders it was a major step forward for the media in Somalia. News to go further Follow the news on Somalia News Radio reporter gunned on city street in central Somalia News March 2, 2021 Find out more Organisation News RSF and NUSOJ call for release of a journalist held in Somalia’s Puntland region February 24, 2021 Find out more March 26, 2007 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Radio journalist and driver freed after being held for three days SomaliaAfrica January 8, 2021 Find out more
Rawf8/iStock(LOS ANGELES) — U.S. federal prosecutors have announced a 252-count indictment charging 80 people, mostly Nigerian nationals, with being part of a widespread conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through a variety of scams and then launder the money.The federal grand jury indictment was unsealed Thursday after authorities arrested 14 defendants across the United States, including 11 in the Los Angeles area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California. Three other defendants were already in federal custody. Six defendants believed to be in the country are fugitives, while the dozens of remaining defendants live in other nations, mainly Nigeria.U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna said the defendants allegedly used various “sophisticated” online fraud schemes to prey upon businesses, elderly individuals and people who may have been susceptible to a romance-related scam.“We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in U.S. history,” Hanna told reporters at a press conference Thursday. “We are taking a major step to disrupt these criminal networks.”Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office, said the defendants defrauded victims out of around $10 million and attempted to steal at least another $40 million.Billions of dollars are lost each year through these types of frauds, according to Delacourt. In the first seven months of 2019, more than 14,000 people filed complaints with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center alleging they were victims of business email compromise, or BEC, scams, reporting total losses of almost $1.1 billion“This crime is growing exponentially in terms of losses and victims,” Delacourt told reporters at Thursday’s press conference. “While we are happy to announce these charges today, we are not going to arrest our way out of this problem, and so we continue to educate potential victims.”The lead defendants named in the 145-page indictment are Valentine Iro, 31, and Chukwudi Christogunus Igbokwe, 38, both Nigerian citizens who live in California and were among those arrested Thursday morning. Prosecutors allege that the pair essentially operated as “brokers of fraudulent bank accounts.”Co-conspirators based in Nigeria, the United States and other nations contacted Iro and Igbokwe for bank and money-service accounts that could receive funds fraudulently obtained from victims. Once co-conspirators convinced victims to send money under false pretenses, Iro and Igbokwe allegedly coordinated the receipt of funds and oversaw an extensive money-laundering network based out of Los Angeles, according to the indictment.Prosecutors allege Iro and Igbokwe did all this in exchange for a cut of the stolen money.The indictment stems from a yearslong investigation led by the FBI. Iro, Igbokwe and another Nigerian defendant named in the indictment, 39-year-old Chuks Eroha, face additional charges for attempting to destroy their cellphones when the FBI executed a search warrant in 2017 at Iro’s apartment in Carson, California. Iro allegedly broke his phone in half while Igbokwe and Eroha allegedly threw their phones out a window seconds after FBI agents knocked on the apartment door. Eroha is believed to have fled to Nigeria shortly after the search.“In the days ahead,” Delacourt said, “we will be working with our foreign counterparts in nine countries to apprehend 57 additional defendants.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.