Police Nab 5 Suspected Fraudsters in Lagos

Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad, RRS, have arrested five members of a 15-man syndicate that specialized in defrauding innocent members of the public in Lagos and its environs of their hard-earned money.

The suspects identified as Adeola Oladele, 42, Friday Philip, 33, Israel Ibe, 35, Oyewole Thompson, 30, and Onyebuchi Godwin, 20, were arrested by RRS operatives after a tip off.

Vanguard gathered that the five suspects who were arrested in Oko -Baba- Sule, off Wilma Street, Olodi ,Apapa, were taken to the State Headquarters of the RRS, Alausa, Ikeja, for interrogation.

They allegedly admitted being culpable and stated that it was greed and unemployment that lured them into crime.

They also claimed to be 15 in number, with one Toronto, as the kingpin of the syndicate.

Suspect’s account

Oyewole Thompson, 30, said:   “We are 15 in number and we divide ourselves into groups whenever we want to go on the prowl. We usually walk around Boundary Market and Marine Beach, all in Apapa, where we go after our preys. We introduce ourselves as foreigners that brought some imported gadgets for sale. We convince our victims and anybody that falls into such a booby trap, we will milk him or her dry. We will ask him or her to bring Naira, which we would either change into fake US dollars or British Pounds. Toronto is the head of our syndicate, while Ifeanyi, Emeka, Bobo and Onyibo head different groups.”

Residents of the affected Wilma area, who also came and testified against the arrested men, claimed their base under the Wilma flyover was a dangerous and no-go area where cries of students and ladies were often heard.

 

Victim’s account

A 26-year-old victim, Chiamaka Anusim, narrated her story; “My travail began sometime in August, 2015, when I was accosted by a man who I later knew as Oyewole Thompson, at Mile 2 bus stop, on my way to Ago Pallace way. The man just walked up to me where I was waiting to board a tricycle that would take me to Ago and introduced himself as a foreigner who was looking for ladies who could assist him to market some used phone sets and laptops he just brought from abroad. I told him that I was in a hurry to go for a nanny job interview. The man kept on pestering me, that he was going to reward me handsomely if I could assist him market the products and I succumbed to the pressure. From there, he took me to a place under the Wilma flyover where he asked me to pay some amount of money, but I told him I had nothing on me, that it was only my ATM card that was on me. I met two other men there.

“That day, I gave him my ATM card and he went to the nearest GTBank and withdrew N40,000. The next day I went there, he collected my ATM card again and withdrew N70,000. The third time I went for the products to be given to me, he collected the N60,000 that was on me. When I asked about the products, he also asked me to come with another N40,000, a roll of white handkerchief, a walking stick and three fouls with which to do some rituals before the products could be given to me. He said the N40,000 was to be used to procure a week-old baby to concoct the charm. I didn’t even know what was controlling me as I was obliging him for whatever he asked me to bring. It was like a divine rescue when I saw armed policemen who invaded the place and started shooting sporadically into the air to effect their arrest.

“That was how we were all rounded up and brought down here to Alausa. I thank God for my life.”

 

Gang leader opens up

One of the leaders of the gang, Oyewole Thompson, said: “I was a clearing and forwarding agent before I joined this gang. I was introduced to this business by Sunny T. We wash money (print fake foreign currency), we lie to people that we are foreigners. Our chairman is Toronto while some of the other members of the gang are; Emeka, Ifeanyi, Bobo and Onyinbo who is still at large.”

 

Recovered exhibits

Several denominations of fake US dollars and four mobile phones were recovered from the gang.

Speaking on the incident, when contacted, Commander, RRS, Olatunji Disu, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, ACP, confirmed the arrests and said investigation had begun and as soon as the probe was concluded, the suspects would be charged to court.

 

 

Source: Vanguard Nigeria

 

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