• Another caught with fake US dollars
A THIRTY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD man who specializes in duping foreigners and Nigerians using the names and signatures of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been arrested by detectives of the Lagos State Police Command.
The Commissioner of Police, Alhaji Umar Manko at the Command Headquarters, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, paraded the suspect who specialises in duping American citizens.
The suspect, who impersonates the IGP, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi and the Minister of Finance, Okonjo-Iweala told newsmen that he joined the illicit business because he was motivated to get rich quick.
The suspected fraudster, Victor Ekong, is at present being detained at the X-Squad section of the Command Headquarters, IKeja.
Parading him yesterday at the command headquarters, the state Police spokesperson, Ngozi Braide, a Deputy Superintendent of Police, said the suspect was arrested by men of the Area ‘G’ Command.
The suspect was arrested February 5, 2014 while on his way from Ogba to the State Secretariat Alausa, Ikeja, with forged police and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) documents.
In his confessional statement, the 34 year-old fraudster said that he used the name Phillip and a photograph of an American which he pasted on his Facebook account to swindle his victims.
The suspect told The Guardian that he was into fish farming before he was hit by a strange sickness and needed money to start up life again.
His words: “I graduated from the University of Calabar in 2004. I read Agric Science. I went into fish farming, but unfortunately lost all my stock when my farm was ravaged by an epidemic and I fell sick, too, because I was depressed.
“I met my first victim, an American, online and during our discussion I introduced myself as Phillip Agwe. I presented some business proposals to him and also forwarded most of the documents found on me to him.”
“Mid-way into the transaction, he sent me the sum of 10,000 US dollars, but somewhere along the line he found out that most of the documents I mailed to him were forged. That was how the business ended.”
The suspect who admitted his offence said if he was addressed as a fraudster he would not be angry adding that it was the shock of losing all his life-savings that he invested in fish farming that forced him into crime.
He claimed that the Indian hemp found in his pocket actually belonged to him, but as part of his New Year resolution, he has stopped smoking
“I wore this trouser last in 2013 and must have forgotten the Indian hemp in the pocket because I stopped smoking in December last year,” he said.
Parading the suspect at the Command Headquarters
Braide, said that the fraudster was accosted by policemen who were on a stop and search duty at Ogba area of Ikeja.
“When he was searched, a wrap of Indian hemp was found on him, which attracted the suspicion of the policemen. A thorough search on him led to the discovery of more incriminating items, some of which include the IGP’s letter headed paper with the IGP’s name and signature, Federal High Court Certificate, CBN documents, ID card of the Federal Civil Service, Ministry of Tourism Award certificate, United Nation Terrorism Board, Anti-Drug/Money Laundering Clearance Certificate and Internal Revenue Tax Clearance Certificate.”
Similarly, a 54 year-old man was also arrested with fake US dollars valued about N2.5million.
The suspect who claimed to be a graphic artist said he may have been set up by his friend who asked him to bring the fake foreign currencies with the intent of selling the same to criminally minded persons.
Braide said both suspects would soon be charged to court.