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SSS Arrests Two Fraudsters, Recovers Fake $1.5m

05 Feb 2013

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Abia gov’s wife was blackmailed by one of the fraudsters

Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Lagos State Command of the State Security Service (SSS) has arrested two suspected fraudsters, Uche Onwuka and Azeez Bello, for attempting to lure one Livinus Yakubu, a Nigerian-based in Dubai, the United Arab Emirate (UAE), with the intent of defrauding him of $7 million as well as impersonate a director of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) respectively.

THISDAY gathered that Onwuka had lured Yakubu to Nigeria on the pretext of investing $7 million in real estate belonging to business mogul, Dr. Mike Adenuga.

However, instead of proceeding with the business negotiation, Uche was said to have introduced the issue of having $3.5 million stamped, claiming he needed only $30,000 to purchase chemical to wash it.

Confirming the arrests, the Director of the SSS, Mr. Ben Achu-Olayi, said when the victim’s suspected foul play in the course of the discussion, he reported the issue to the service.

He said they encouraged him to play along and on January 7, this year, the operatives of the command placed the suspect under close surveillance around Camelot Hotel, Victoria Island, where he was scheduled to come and collect part of the $30,000 as the money to be used in purchasing items to wash the dollars.

Olayi said during the search conducted at the suspect’s accommodation at Travel House Hotel, in Ajah, many incriminating items including 12 fake internet super-imposed pictures of the suspect in the midst of very important Nigerians and documents purportedly signed by President Goodluck Jonathan, were discovered.
According to him, the suspect had several fake internet super-imposed pictures with different highly placed personalities like the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua; former President Olusegun Obasanjo and business mogul, Alhaji 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 in his victims,” he said.

The Director said the suspect had made confessional statement and would probably be arraigned in court today, stressing that Nigerians should remain vigilant and be more security conscious.

Meanwhile, Bello, who had impersonated the EFFC Director of Operations, one E Adegbite, had allegedly planned to defraud wife of Abia State governor, Mrs. Mercy Orji.

THISDAY gathered that he was allegedly negotiating with his would be victims to extort money from them in his supposed capacity as the director of operations EFCC.

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, one of the contestants for Kogi Central senatorial district seat in the 2011 general elections on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), confessed that he collaborated with one Nelsom Ndukwe, and one Chief Okafor, who are presently at large to defraud Orji through blackmail on the pretext that she was under investigation by the EFCC on trump-up financial offences.
Olayi said the suspect would be handed over to the EFCC for further investigation, while the manhunt for other fleeing suspects would continue to ensure they are brought to justice.

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, SSS, Two Fraudsters, Fake $1.5m

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