Barely one week after officers attached to the Lagos State Police Command paraded five suspects for printing fake currencies in the state, the officers of the State Security Service have also arrested two suspected fraudsters for similar crime.
The SSS gave the names of the suspects as Uche Onwuka and Azeez Bello.
According to the SSS, Onwuka was picked up after he attempted to defraud an unsuspecting businessman of $7 million while Bello was arrested for allegedly impersonating a director of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Onwuka claimed to be a business partner of the Chairman of Globacom, Otunba Mike Adenuga, and had used fake documents to lure one Livinus, a Nigerian based in Dubai, to return to Nigeria on the pretence of investing the $7million in real estate owned by Adenuga.
It was gathered that Onwuka, instead of proceeding with the business, went on to produce N3.5 million worth fake dollars notes, claiming he needed only $30,000 dollars to purchase a chemical to wash the money so that it will become genuine money that they can use to invest in the real estate business.
Livinus became suspicious and reported the case to the secret police.
Confirming the arrests, the Director of the SSS, Lagos State Command, Ben Achu-Olayi, said fraudsters employ various tricks to get their targets to part with money.
Olayi said the police encouraged Livinus to play along and on January 7, 2013, the operatives arrested the suspect at Camelot Hotel, Victoria Island, where he was to collect half of the money he asked Livinus to bring.
Olayi said officers searched the suspect’s room at the Travel House Hotel, Ajah, where incriminating items, including 12 fake internet super-imposed pictures of the suspect and other documents purportedly signed by President Goodluck Jonathan were recovered.
Olayi said: “The suspect had several fake internet super-imposed pictures with different highly placed personalities like the late President, Alhaji Umar Musa Yar’Adua; the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; and business mogul, Aliko Dangote, amongst others.
“The worst is that the suspect super-imposed several pictures where he was with President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential office.
“He portrayed himself as a member of the inner-caucus or kitchen cabinet of the President and close ally of prominent business moguls in the country.
“He has used such gimmicks to lure his victims.”
The Director said the suspect will be arraigned in court soon.
Meanwhile the SSS director said Bello impersonated the EFFC Director of Operations, Olaolu Adegbite, and was planning to defraud the Abia State First Lady, Mrs. Mercy Orji, before he was arrested.
Olayi said: “Acting on intelligence report received from Abia State that one suspected fraudster was impersonating Adegbite to defraud the first lady, we trailed and successfully tracked and arrested him at Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja.”
Bello, it was discovered, was one of the contestants for the Kogi Central Senatorial District seat in the 2011 general election on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria.
Bello confessed that he collaborated with one Nelson Ndukwe and one Chief Okafor, who are presently at large, to defraud Mrs. Orji by employing trumped up charges that she is being investigated.
Olayi said the suspect will be handed over to the EFCC for further investigation while urging Nigerians to be vigilant and report all suspicious persons to the police.
Olayi said the police are on the trail of other fleeing suspects and they will be arrested soon.